The Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety has expanded the scope of its research to include epidemiological studies of the causes and spread of workplace injuries, biomechanical analyses of human motion patterns, and investigations of the physical, technological, and organizational demands of work environments.
Its annual report highlights the results of this research. Each annual report includes Liberty Mutual’s Workplace Safety Index, which derives information from Liberty Mutual claims, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. "It can take 18 months to evaluate the true cost of those injuries to companies and individuals, " explains Ted Courtney, head of the Center for Injury Epidemiology, which compiles the Index. In other words, the 2009 Safety Index includes data that was recorded in 2007. “There usually aren’t any wild variations,” Courtney says. The 2008 Safety Index showed that overexertion resulted in more than a quarter of worker injuries, and $12.4 billion in direct costs to business. Slip and fall injuries and injuries caused from slipping or tripping without falling came in next, accounting for $16.5 billion in damages.
The Workplace Safety Index and other research from the Institute is published in Liberty Mutual’s Annual Report and quarterly newsletter, "From Research to Reality.” You can find the most recent issues here.