Now more than ever, it is very important for companies to take into account the impact of occupational injuries and illnesses and encourage prevention.

According to a newly released study by a professor of public health sciences at the University of California – Davis, the costs of injuries and illnesses is $250 billion. The professor, J. Paul Leigh, has concluded that this exceeds the total costs of all cancers by $31 billion and diabetes by $76 billion.

Leigh gathered data from 2007 on occupational injuries and illnesses and costs for workers in the U.S. and found the following on workplace costs:

  • 8,564,600 fatal and non-fatal injuries cost $192 billion
  • 516,100 fatal and non-fatal illnesses cost $58 billion
  • 59,102 combined deaths from workplace injuries and diseases are higher than deaths from motor vehicle crashes (43,945), breast cancer (40,970), or prostate cancer (29,093) all in the same year.

All the data on injury and disease was from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the Centers for disease Control and Prevention. The cost data is from the National Council on Compensation Insurance, the Healthcare Cost, and Utilization Project and the National Academy of Social Insurance.

The study was funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and health (NIOSH). With this research, Leigh recommends that prevention programs and efforts are raised to reduce the harm to workers. Taking into consideration hat since 1992, which was the last time a similar study was done, the total costs of illness and injuries in the workplace have risen by $33 billion.

So you might think: how am I preventing myself or my employees from getting hurt at work? If little or nothing is being done about preventing costly and potentially deadly risks in your workplace, start now by educating and training your staff the correct way.


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