California Worker Injury Report Shows Head and Spinal Injuries as Most Expensive
While head and spinal injuries are only a small portion of all injuries that occur in the workplace, they result in largest costs to California's workers' compensation system. In fact, such catastrophic injuries in the workplace have cost more than $500 million over the last 10 years.
Based on the study of workers' comp data in California, head injuries and spine injuries only account for 1 out of every 200 on-the-job injury claims, but despite being half a percent of all worker injuries in California, the cost of these injuries are more than 1.7 percent of all paid losses.
Almost half of all head and spine injuries involve strains, contusions and lacerations. The remaining half of such injuries involves fractions, concussions and other physical injuries. Overall, head and spinal injuries tend to be more expensive to treat and lead to more time away from work - hence the disproportionate cost for such injuries.
The report also revealed that there has been a shift in the industries in which these injuries occur. It used to be that most head and spinal injuries occurred at construction sites and in manufacturing plants. But with the recession, there was been a decrease in these jobs and thus a decrease in these injuries.
Now more head and spinal injuries are taking place in professions involving professional services and clerical services.