Workers are reporting injuries earlier in tenure, study finds.

A recent study of workers’ compensation claims show that employees are reporting workplace injures much sooner in their tenure than they were ten years ago. The study, conducted by Selective Insurance, reviewed over 110,000 worker’s compensation claims filed with the company from January 2011 through December 2021. The results showed that the average tenure date of the claimant decreased from 6.4 years to 5.2 years in the ten-year period, or about an 18% earlier in the claimant’s tenure. Additionally, claims made by workers in their first year rose from 32% to 38%.

The study examined the average hire to injury lag across multiple industries such as manufacturing/wholesalers, construction contractors, retail/professional services, and nonprofit, education, religious, and municipal organizations. Slips, falls, and strains were found to be the most commonly reported injuries over the past ten years and when comparing the data, the percentage of first year employees’ injuries have gradually increased across most of the industries, aside from construction contractors. Selective found that the largest jump in first-year employee injuries occurred in the manufacturing and wholesalers’ industry, where 42 percent of compensation claims were for first-year workers in 2021. That compares to just 31 percent in 2011.

Selective Workplace Injury Chart

Source: Selective Insurance

In a press release, Vice President and Director of Safety Management, Scott Smith said, “to minimize risks, all employers must ensure new employees receive orientation on workplace risk management, including safety hazards, emergency response plans and safe driving expectations if company vehicles are operated.”

Paul Kush, Executive Vice President, and Chief Claims Officer, added, "With labor shortages and the challenging hiring environment, tenured employees may be taking on additional responsibilities which is why workplace injury prevention strategies to help employees stay safe should be top-of-mind for businesses."

 

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