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Title: Direct Costs of Injuries and Illnesses
Type: Text and Chart Slide
Chart Elements: Includes eleven cost points per billion for each years 1998 to 2008.
Injury and illness prevention programs help employers avoid the substantial cost impacts and business disruptions that accompany occupational injuries, illnesses and deaths. When someone in the workplace is hurt or becomes ill, the direct costs include the worker's lost wages and medical costs – which are typically paid for out of workers' compensation insurance. Those premiums you pay are based in part on your own injury and illness experience and, just like automobile accidents, a higher workplace injury and illness incidence rate will lead to higher workers' compensation premiums.
The Liberty Mutual Research Institute reports that the direct cost of the most disabling workplace injuries averaged almost $48 billion a year between 1998 and 2008 – as you can see from this chart – with a peak of more than $53 billion in 2008.
Another source, the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI), estimates the annual workers' compensation benefits paid for all compensable injuries and illnesses in 2009 at $58 billion. NASI reports that the total costs paid by employers for workers' compensation increased from $60 billion in 2000 to $74 billion in 2009.