A new ten-year study by Selective Insurance, “Workplace Injury Trends,” reveals recent declines in the average “hire to injury lag,” or the amount of time between an employee’s hiring and their reporting of a workplace-related injury. The study found that “employees are reporting a workplace-related injury 18% earlier in their tenure compared to 10 years prior,” with workers, on average, filing Workers Comp claims roughly 5.2 years into their tenure at a company in 2021. Ten years earlier in 2011, the study found, that average was 6.4 years.
The study drew on an analysis of “more than 110,000 Workers Comp claims” filed with the insurance company between the first day of 2011 and the last day of 2021. Breaking down by type of claim, it found that the most commonly reported injuries were “slips, falls, and strains.” Breaking down by sector, it found that in nonprofit, education, religious, and municipal organizations, fall/slip injuries accounted for 29% of claims; strain injuries accounted for 20.2% of claims; and struck/injured injuries accounted for 20% of claims. Among construction contractors, strain injuries accounted for 22.4% of claims; fall/slip injuries accounted for 19.7% of claims; and cut/puncture/scrape injuries accounted for 16.8% of claims. In manufacturing and wholesale, strains accounted for 27.2% of claims; cuts/punctures/scrapes accounted for 18.6% of claims; and struck/injured by accounted for 16.4% of claims. In retail and professional services, finally, cuts/punctures/scrapes accounted for 23.5% of claims; falls/slips accounted for 21.1%; and strains accounted for 17.3%.
“Other less frequent types of injury,” the report states, include “motor vehicle related, burn/scald, striking against/stepping on, and caught in/between.” And while Selective’s research found that the “percentage of reported first-year employee injuries” declined in most of the industries it watches over the decade in question, it remained stable among construction contractors.
In a statement about the research, Selective’s Executive Vice President and Chief Claims Officer said in part, “Our long- and short-term data about employees’ tenure at the time of workplace injury demonstrates the importance of ongoing and effective employee training and safety management across all industries.” The company’s Director of Safety Management, meanwhile, said in part: “The incidence of first-year employee injuries at many types of companies reveals that no business or entity is immune from the need for a safety orientation process for people new to their job. To minimize risks, all employers must ensure new employees receive orientation on workplace risk management.”
Selective Insurance’s new report on hire to injury lags across sectors, “Workplace Injury Trends,” is available here.