Injuries a Drain on Employee Productivity

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TUESDAY, May 5, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Injuries in the United States take a huge toll on the workplace, new research shows.

For the study, researchers analyzed millions of workplace health insurance claims among adults aged 18 to 64 between 2014 and 2015, with a specific focus on non-fatal injuries treated in emergency departments.

The injuries examined in the study included burns, poisonings, gunshot wounds, falls, bites and stings, traffic crashes, and those caused by machinery and overexertion.

The researchers found that such injuries result in an estimated loss of $1,590 and an average of 11 days off work per injured employee every year.

There was a range from 1.5 days and $210 for bites and stings to 44 days and $6,196 for motorcycle injuries. Days taken off work ranged from four for other head, face and neck injuries to almost 20 for traumatic brain injuries, according to the study published online May 4 in the journal Injury Prevention.

The findings don’t include caregivers, people who don’t have workplace health insurance, and those without jobs.

Each year in the United States, there are more than 30 million visits to emergency care for non-fatal injuries, resulting in total medical costs of more than $133 billion, according to lead researcher Dr. Cora Peterson, from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Peterson and colleagues noted that previous estimates of lost productivity due to injury have been based on missing work due to injuries sustained only in the workplace and haven’t assessed the impact of different types of injury.

The new study didn’t include long-term disabilities or long-term physical and mental illness caused by violent assault.

“Non-fatal injuries are preventable and incur substantial lost work productivity at a high cost to individuals, employers and society,” the study authors concluded in a journal news release.

— Robert Preidt

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SOURCE: Injury Prevention, news release, May 4, 2020

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