Working age adults account for more than two-thirds of the estimated 9.9 million annual fall-related injuries impacting U.S. adults according to Liberty Mutual’s latest research, highlighting the importance of companies actively protecting employees and the public from falls.
Liberty Mutual researchers quantified the number of annual fall-related injuries for U.S. adults based on 2008-2014 data from the National Health Interview Survey1. Surprisingly, fall injuries were almost equally divided across three age groups, with 32.3 percent occurring among older adults (ages 65+), 35.3 percent affecting middle-age adults (ages 45-65) and 32.3 percent affecting younger adults (ages 18-44). The research findings appear in PLOS ONE, a journal that reports original research from all disciplines of science and medicine.
“While there is considerable research on falls among older adults – those age 65 and up – less is known about fall-related injuries in middle-age and younger adults,” notes Santosh K. Verma, MD ScD, senior research scientist with Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. “Our research provides the most comprehensive picture to date of the frequency of falls for U.S. adults.”
Beyond quantifying the number of annual fall-related injuries among U.S. adults – and their distribution by age group – the Liberty Mutual research produced two other sets of important findings:
A summary by age group of the average and total lifetime cost of annual unintentional fall-related injuries resulting in death, hospitalization or emergency department visit
A summary by age and gender of the annual average fall-related injury types
“By drawing attention to the magnitude of this major public health concern, the findings will help companies in their ongoing efforts to protect workers and the public from falls,” says Wayne Maynard, technical director, Liberty Mutual Risk Control Services. “Protecting these groups provides a host of benefits for employers, from keeping skilled employees on the job, to protecting tight margins from the costs associated with workers compensation and general liability claims.”
Liberty Mutual’s annual Workplace Safety Index has consistently cited falls among the top 10 causes of the most serious and costly nonfatal US work injuries. The present study provides a broader view of falls, examining those that occur both at work and outside of work.
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