Workers’ compensation is a program that allows workers to seek immediate coverage and benefits if they suffer an injury at work. Many workers have to use this coverage every year due to on-the-job accidents. They may make claims for any injuries that require medical attention, time away from work or both. Benefits offer payments for medical care and lost wages, depending on what a person qualifies for.
Statistics and data collected about the industry provide some interesting insight into who uses the program the most. There are trends within industries that point to safety issues, and using the information can allow employers and regulators to create better safety standards to avoid future claims. Two data points that provide insight are the industries with the highest number of claims and the causes of death in workplace accidents.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the industry that saw the most workers’ compensation claims in 2017 was that of laborers at 7.6%. However, people should not confuse this category with other industries of workers. For example, this particular set of information does not categorize construction workers as laborers in these statistics as they made up only 2.4% of claims, which barely made the top nine.
Other industries with the highest claims statistics include heavy truck drivers at 5.5%, janitors and cleaners at 4% and nursing assistants at 3.7%. Rounding out the top 10 were general maintenance and repair workers, store clerks, RNs and light truck drivers.
Causes of death
Employers should be aware of statistics regarding on-the-job accidents that lead to death. For the period from 2016 to 2017, the most common cause of death at 40% was vehicle crashes. The next highest cause at 17% was falls.
The remainder of the top six causes of death for workers’ compensation claims were violence at 16%, contact with objects at 14%, hazardous materials exposure at 10% and fires and explosions at 2%.