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Report looks at common causes of workplace injury with eye toward mitigation

Most people are pretty well aware of the risks they face in their own work on a daily basis. Have you ever wondered, though, about workplace accidents in general? How do people get injured on the job? A recent report by the Travelers Companies Inc. looked at the most common causes of workplace injury and accidents between 2010 and 2014. The results were obtained by looking at records of 1.5 million workers’ compensation claims in a variety of industries and business sizes.

What was found was that materials handling caused the majority of injuries and accidents, accounting for 32 percent of workers’ compensation claims. Materials handling includes things like lifting, lowering, carrying, filling and emptying. Often, such activities cause musculoskeletal problems, including sprains, inflammation and fractures.

Material handling accidents were found to be particularly common in manufacturing and retail, accounting for almost 40 percent of injuries in both industries. After material handling, the next most common cause of workplace injuries was found to be slips, trips and falls, followed by collision with objects and accidents involving tools.

One of the aims of the report is to encourage employers to take steps to mitigate workplace injuries. The idea is that employers can become aware of the specific risks their workers face day in and day out and put in place measures to reduce the risk of injury and accidents, whether through orientation and training, increased supervision of workers, or by changing policies to ensure safer procedures.

In our next post, we’ll take a look at the issue of accident mitigation and the effect it may or may not have on an injured workers’ ability to receive compensation.

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