50% of workers compensation costs in the United States are driven by just 3 types of injuries.  If your employees, productivity, or mod rate get hurt this year, one of these will be the likely cause:

  • Overexertion injuries – from lifting, pulling, pushing, carrying, holding, or wielding
  • Falls on the same level
  • Strikes by an object or equipment

Overexertion injuries alone account for more than 25% of total workers compensation costs!

These findings come straight from Liberty Mutual’s recently released 2014 Workplace Safety Index, which analyzes data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics along with total workers compensation costs. Results from Canada, like those from the 2013 Ontario WSIB Statistical Report, paint a similar picture.

Given the results, you’d expect most safety training activity across the US and Canada to focus on these areas, right? Of course you would – and so would we – so we put ourselves to the test. With Liberty’s results in hand, we checked out what SafetySmart’s 4,000 member organizations used most in 2014 to train their employees, contractors, and supervisors. These 4 topics all turned up in SafetySmart’s top 10:

  • Fall protection
  • Materials handling
  • Lifting safety & back protection
  • Ergonomics

Not a bad tally – but there was one surprise: only fall protection made the top 3.  Just one!!  Because of that, fresh coverage of the other three will continue in healthy doses for 2015, just as in 2014 – including new onsite training meeting kits released to members in January and February on both ergonomics and fall protection.

Other important topics like chemical safety, lockout / tagout, and emergency prep still belong in many safety programs – no doubt about it – especially for many manufacturing and construction sites.  But the latest Safety Index is a reminder to be sure your 2015 training program covers the most likely sources of injuries and unplanned costs.

If you just realized your training program needs to be re-indexed, check out this complimentary Industrial Ergonomics eLearning course, the complete SafetySmart eLearning library,  or any of our free onsite safety training kits.