Recently, Travelers Insurance released an “Injury Impact Report” which revealed the most common cause of workplace accidents and injuries. After reviewing workers’ compensation claims from different business sizes and industries, they listed the most prevalent types of injuries and the percentage they represent of total claims between 2010 and 2014. The number of total claims analyzed for the time period was 1.5 million. As expected, the number one type of workplace injury listed in the report was strains/sprains. Here’s top five breakdown:
5. Traumas Occurring Over Time 4% – Trauma occurs when a part of the body is injured by overusing it of straining it.
4. Accidents involving Tools or Equipment 7% – Certainly, those industries that require the use of hazardous tools and equipment will always present a significant risk for injuries involving cuts and contusions.
3. Being Struck by or Colliding with An Object 10% – This type of injury claim typically results at a workplace where there is a considerable use of mobile equipment.
2. Slips, Trips, and Falls 16% – This workplace injury is prevalent in stores, offices, and warehouses where there is likely to be slick flooring.
1. Material Moving and Handling 32% – This cause of injury tops the list because it typically results from lifting, moving, or carrying an item which crosses all industry classifications.
Knowing the most frequent types of injuries should help business owners and managers to develop and implement a targeted workplace safety program to reduce workplace accidents and injuries that result in workers’ compensation claims and ultimately an increase in premiums.
Costs of Claims per Injury Type
Although the cost of workplace accidents doesn’t necessarily impact your experience modification factor (number of claims does), it’s important to understand how each type of claim impacts the insurer. The Travelers Injury Impact Report broke down costs to the insurer on a per-claim basis as follows:
- Fractures $42,400
- Inflammation (traumas) $24,500
- Strain or Sprain $17,000
- Cut or Puncture $8,200
- Contusion $8,000 (severe bruise)
Lost Work Days
It’s important to take into consideration the lost wage reimbursement associated with each workers’ comp injury claim. Most employers focus only on the medical expenses and neglect to consider reimbursement by the insurer for time off. An example of average missed workdays reveal by the report is a follows:
- Sprains and strains – average of 57 missed work days
- Cuts and Punctures – averaged 24 missed work days
- Inflammations – 91 missed work days
- Fractures – 78 missed work days
Missed work days also result in loss of production, missed deadlines, and even more claims since remaining employees must increase their workload to make up for injured employees who must stay home to recover.
Protect Your Experience Modification Factor
Know that your Mod factor has a direct impact on your cost of insurance. It makes good sense to establish a workplace safety program and issue ground rules for following it. Even the smallest of businesses, especially sub-contractors, can benefit by reducing or eliminating workplace injuries and accidents by employing a sound strategy for workplace safety.