The rate of growth in the cost of these injuries slowed significantly: to 0.7 percent in 2003 from 6.5 percent in 2002, after adjusting for inflation. But the sheer size of the financial impact of workplace injuries remains: Employers spent $50.8 billion in 2003 on wage payments and medical care for workers hurt on the job.
The sixth annual Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index uncovers trends in the leading causes of the most serious workplace injuries between 1998 and 2003. And the Liberty Mutual Chief Financial Officer Survey offers a glimpse of how senior financial executives at large and mid-size companies view safety.
Some positive trends, according to the surveys, include:
On the negative side, the surveys also point to the work that remains, including:
â€œWhile progress has been made in recent years, these results point to the clear need for a comprehensive safety management system,â€ says Karl Jacobson, a senior vice president and general manager of Liberty Mutual Loss Prevention. â€œContinuing to cut the number of serious injuries and their financial burden will require companies follow a safety improvement process that includes strong safety organization, management leadership and employee participation.â€