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Injuries occurring much earlier in workers’ job tenure: study

Photo: Selective Insurance

Branchville, NJ — Employees are reporting work-related injuries much sooner in their tenure than they were 10 years ago, results of a recent study of workers’ compensation claims show.

Researchers from Selective Insurance reviewed more than 110,000 workers’ comp claims filed with the company from January 2011 through December 2021. They found that the average tenure date of the claimants decreased to 5.2 years from 6.4 years over that period, or about 18% earlier in a worker’s tenure.

In addition, the portion of claims made by first-year workers rose six percentage points to 38% – an increase of almost 19%.

Other key findings:

  • The average hire-to-injury time for workers in nonprofit, education, religious and municipal settings decreased 792 days. That’s more than two years. The most common claim among these workers involved a fall/slip injury, making up 29% of the claims.
  • The average hire-to-injury times also decreased among manufacturing/wholesalers (480 days), construction contractors (202 days), and retail and professional services (180 days).
  • Manufacturing/wholesalers most commonly experienced strain injuries (27.2%), as did construction contractors (22.4%). Retail and professional services workers most commonly reported cut/puncture/scrape injuries (23.5%).

“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,” Scott Smith, vice president and director of safety management at Selective Insurance, said in a press release.

The data “demonstrates the importance of ongoing and effective employee training and safety management across all industries,” added Paul Kush, the company’s executive vice president and chief claims officer.

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