New workers are responsible for 35% of injuries, analysis of compensation claims shows | 2022-07-13

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Hartford, CT – According to a report by insurance provider The Travelers Cos, more than a third of work-related injuries occur in the first year of work.

For his Damage report 2022, Travelers examined more than 1.5 million worker compensation claims filed between 2015 and 2019 by various companies and industries. The results show that 35% of injuries occur to workers hired within the last year, regardless of age or industry experience. Additionally, injuries resulted in more than 6 million days absent in the first year, accounting for 37% of all injury-related absenteeism.

Overexertion (27%) was the leading cause of injury in the first year, followed by slips, trips, and falls (22%) and accidental accidents (14%). Sprains and strains (38%) were the most common injuries, outnumbering fractures (13%)—the second most common injury—almost threefold.

By industry, the percentage of applications from first-year workers was highest in hospitality (53%) and construction (48%). These claims accounted for 47% and 52% of total claims costs in these industries, respectively. Services (43% of claims and 38% of claims costs) and transport (39% of claims and 41% of claims costs) had slightly lower percentages.

Construction (98), transport (88) and services (59) had the highest average days absent.

Other important findings:

  • Amputations, polytrauma, electrocution and dislocations resulted in the most expensive claims for damages in the first year.
  • Across all workers and industries, overexertion (29%); slips, trips and falls (23%); and hit by an object (14%) were the most common causes of injury.
  • Overall, dislocations, head injuries, and fractures were the most costly injuries.
  • The most commonly affected body parts among all applicants were the lower back (13%), shoulders (12%) and knees (10%).

“Our data underscores the importance of comprehensive employee onboarding and training programs, particularly as we continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19 and see many workers starting new jobs,” Chris Hayes, Associate Vice President, Risk Control – Worker Compensation and Transportation at Travelers, said in a press release. “While new employees are among the most vulnerable, many injuries sustained by employees of any tenure can often be prevented if the right safety measures are in place.”

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