Costs of Musculoskeletal Injury in the California Film and Motion Picture Industry

  •  Eddie Garcia    
  •  Hamed Yazdanshenas    
  •  Nicholas Kusnezov    
  •  Arya Shamie    


INTRODUCTION: Musculoskeletal injuries may have a significant economic impact on the film and motion picture (FMP) industry. However, there is currently no comprehensive data on the cost of workers’ compensation (WC) claims in the FMP industry. We present the first analysis of the cost of musculoskeletal injuries in the California (CA) FMP industry.

METHODS: We reviewed the WC claims database of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) from 2003 to 2007 and employment statistics through the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). We analyzed the medical cost and indemnity of musculoskeletal injuries and compared the CA FMP injury data to the data for all CA industries.

RESULTS: From 2003-2009, the total cost of WC claims in the CA FMP industry was $19.1 million per year, 88.6% of which was attributed to musculoskeletal injuries. The anatomical sites which incurred the most expense were the knee, lower back, and ankle at $2.3, $1.5 and $1.1 million per year, respectively. The most expensive causes of injury were work-directed activity and falls, totaling $5.4 and $4.7 million per year, respectively. The most costly types of isolated injuries were dislocations and fractures at $57,000 and $55,000 per claim. Additionally, the average cost per anatomic site, cause of injury and type of injury were significantly different for the CA FMP compared to CA industry in general. Over the course of the seven years that data was reviewed, orthopedic injury cost $191.71 per worker per year while orthopedic injury cost $224.00 per worker per year across CA industries (p<0.001).

CONCLUSION: Musculoskeletal injuries contribute substantially to both FMP expenditures and US WC costs. Though the costs for injuries were statistically significant between the FMP and CA industries, the clinical significance has yet to be seen. The data presented in this study provides detailed data to help guide future designs for reducing costs associated with workplace injury in both the FMP industry and across CA industries.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.