Did you know, workplace injuries cost employers nearly $60billion a year? Nearly three million on-the-job injuries occureach year (and more than one-third of those injuries required timeoff from work in order to recover)?


Did you know 1.2 million missed work days were reported in 2017due to injuries? Or that workers took an average of eight days awayfrom the workplace to recuperate from these injuries?


These jarring statistics come directly from the Bureau of LaborStatistics and present an accurate—and frightening—picture of wherewe’re at when it comes to injuries in the workplace.


Why are there so many workplace injuries?


According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there arefour reasons we’re seeing more injuries in the Americanworkforce:

  1. The nature of work continues to evolve. Theeconomy continues to shift from one based on manufacturing toservice. And from a workforce that was previously more “fixed” toone that’s now much more mobile.

  2. Work activities are increasingly automated.Technology, computers, and robotics are being integrated into ourworkplaces, often introducing new and different hazards. And recently, at analarmingly fast pace.

  3. More diversity in the workforce. People fromdifferent backgrounds and cultures are working alongside each othermore frequently—often speaking different languages and creatingcommunication barriers in the process.

  4. An increasingly aging workforce. The rise of sedentarywork and lifestyles means that some workers are at higher risk forwork-related musculoskeletal disorders.

So, quite a few people are being injured on-the-job. It’scosting employers billions of dollars a year. And, it’s due to anincreasingly more diverse, automated and aging workforce.


Since those factors listed above likely aren’t changing anytimesoon, employers need to start thinking proactively. And they needto start thinking about injury prevention.


Here are five key reasons why your organization should considerimplementing an injury and prevention program this year:

  1. Create a culture of safety at work. First andforemost, an injury and prevention program can help you create awork culture where safety comes first. This means addressing thethree critical components of injury prevention: the work (througheducation and training programs), the work environment (throughergonomics), and the worker (through physical/occupational therapyand work conditioning programs).

  1. Improve workplace safety and health. Creating asafe working environment is job number one. And, it doesn’t have tobe that complicated. For example, an energy company recently cameto us saying its office-based employees were experiencing a highernumber of injuries and illnesses, resulting in higher medical anddisability costs and absenteeism. We suggested a simple officeergonomics program to help prevent repetitive motion injuries. Inthe first year, it had a 74 percent success rate in addressing theearly signs and symptoms of the workplace injuries.

  1. Reduce OSHA claims. No one wants OSHA claims ontheir books. So, it pays (literally) to prevent injuries and reducethese costly claims. For example, a manufacturing company recentlyturned to us for help as they were experiencing an increase ininjuries among new hires. This was leading to increased OSHArecordable rates, worker compensation costs and absenteeism. Afterdiscovering that the manufacturer’s employees were deconditionedand less than optimal work practices were being used, we suggesteda new hire work conditioning program and workstation ergonomics toassist with new work tasks and teach optimal best safe practices.The results? OSHA recordable rates were reduced from 48 to 19 inthe first year—and from 19 to just 12 in the second year.

  1. Lower worker’s compensation claims and costs. Afew simple changes to the workplace and your processes can lead tosubstantial cost savings for employers. The manufacturer I notedabove, for example, reduced their OSHA claims significantly bymaking a few changes to their internal processes and ergonomics. Asa result, they avoided costs of $12,000-$25,000 per case.

  1. Reduce employee turnover. Admittedly one of thehardest metrics to measure, in the end high turnover is definitelyamong the most costly to any business. Injury and preventionprograms can help create a safer workplace, which leads tohealthier employees and fewer missed workdays—and, as a result,less turnover.

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