2.8 million workplace injuries and illnesses reported in private industry
results in a rate of 2.8 cases per 100 full-time workers
lowest case rate since the BLS began reporting in the early 1972
(per 100 workers)
|||Number of Cases (000's) |
BLS Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities (IIF) page
BLS State Occupational Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities, Indiana by year, Tables 1 & 2; see Indiana DOL webpage "About SOII - Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses"
Indiana - Cost of Lost Work Time
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that five percent of Hoosier workers annually suffer a recordable injury on the job. OSHA projects these injuries account for nearly $15 to $20 billion in lost work time and workers compensation claims each year.
Source: Inside Indiana Business, 03/16/10 "Staying Productive and Profitable By Avoiding On-the-Job Injuries"
1) Most common causes of workplace injuries
The study focuses on "most disabling" injuries - that cause 6 or more days away from work. The most recent data available is for the 2009 year.
Disabling work-related injuries cost this country over $60 billion in direct costs - over $1 billion a week.
Data sources: Liberty's own claim data, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) annual survey of U.S. occupational injuries, and the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI)
2) Late Claim Reporting
3) Interstate comparison: medical claim costs
(to be updated)
4) Claim frequency decline
NCCI conducted a study released in February 2001 on the decline in claim frequency in a report titled "Analyzing the Decline in Claim Frequency for Workers Compensation." The study tells us that full employment is often associated with new workers and they might be expected to have higher injury rates. However, the study concludes just the opposite and that other forces are at work which have contributed to improvement in workplace injury rates.
NCCI’s research established the following:
The decline in frequency of workers compensation claims spanned across almost all occupations.
The overall shift in occupational mix had no impact on the decline in frequency. In other words, we would have observed a similar result even if we had adjusted for the changing distribution of payroll by classification.
There does appear to be some ‘regionalization’ when reviewing frequency declines by state.
There was a larger percentage decrease in the frequency of permanent disability claims than for temporary disability injury claims. This tends to dispel the theory of an increase in non-reporting of relatively minor claims.
Large deductible policies did not experience a substantial frequency decline - discrediting the theory of non-reporting of claims under the deductible.
Policies with high experience modifications showed the most improvement in claim frequency, while policies with low mods showed the least improvement. Presumably, those employers with large deductible policies and those with low mods have already done much to prevent workplace injuries through implementation of workplace safety programs.
The decline in frequency of claims for employers without large deductible policies and those with high mods might be explained by an increase in workplace safety. This would suggest that financial incentives for a safer workplace really make a difference.
5) Frequent computer usage does not increase chances of carpal tunnel syndrome
The Mayo Clinic conducted a study of its own employees that found frequent computer usage does not increase a person's chances of developing carpal tunnel syndrome. The study, published June 2001 in the journal Neurology, found that computer users experienced carpal tunnel syndrome at frequencies comparable to estimates for the general public. The study reported that "We had expected to find a much higher incidence of carpal tunnel syndrome in the heavy computer users in our study, because it is a common held belief that computer use causes carpal tunnel syndrome."
6) Healthy workers have fewer injuries
The University of Michigan Health Management Research Center conducted a study at the Xerox plant in Rochester, NY from 1996-1999. The study confirmed the belief that workplace wellness programs can help to reduce the cost of workers compensation claims. Over a two-year period, the study found a 5 to 1 return on investment.
7) Workers ignorant about workers comp benefits
A Hartford survey in the summer of 2002 revealed that only 62% of 610 employed adults knew that medical costs related to an on-the-job injury would usually be covered by workers compensation. Also revealing, about 15% of the surveyed workers even expect to receive little or no pay while out of work recovering from an injury.