According to published research by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, same-level slips and falls represent nearly 11% of all workers compensation claims and over 13% of all claims costs. This is second only to manual material handling, which represents 37% and 40%, respectively. In most industry groups, slips and falls represent the highest, or second highest, type of workers compensation claim. In addition, 11% of low back pain-related claims and 12% of low back pain-related claims costs are attributed to slips and falls.

The Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index (WSI) ranking of the 10 leading causes of workplace accidents and the initial Liberty Mutual Executive Survey of Workplace Safety in 2001 revealed some interesting statistics about the direct and indirect costs of workers compensation slips and falls, and the perception among business executives about the extent of the problem. In reality, the direct cost of falls on same level represents $8.61 billion (16.9 % of claims), second behind overexertion or back injuries and from 1998 to 2010 falls on same level has shown a 42.3 percent increase or real growth trend3. But, according to the 2001 executive survey, most executives perceived falls on the same level to be much less of a problem - the seventh most important cause overall4. Whythe difference between reality and the perceived importance of slips and falls?

Why do same level falls continue to represent one of the most costly safety problems today? The reason might lie in a lack of understanding as to how slips, trips and falls occur and implementation of a managed safety process that targets those complex causes.

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