The results of a study of workers’ compensation claims filed in New York and around the country suggest that employers should put more effort into training new hires. Researchers from one of the nation’s largest insurers discovered that more than a third of workplace injuries are suffered by employees with less than one year of experience regardless of their age or the industry they work in. The study was published by Travelers Insurance in May 2022.
1.5 million workers’ compensation claims studied
The researchers based their findings on over 1.5 million workers’ compensation claims filed between 2015 and 2019 by workers who suffered injuries that required medical treatment and prevented them from returning to their jobs. Over the course of the five-year period studied, injuries suffered during the first year of employment led to approximately 6 million lost workdays. Injuries that caused the most to be lost included dislocations, strains and falls.
Workers’ compensation claims submitted by employees with less than one year of experience were particularly common in the restaurant and construction injuries. In both of these industries, first-year injuries accounted for more than half of the workers’ compensation claims filed and more than half of the insurance costs. The most common causes of first-year injuries in all industries were:
- Slips, trips and falls
- Being struck by an object
- Punctures and cuts
- Being caught between objects
- Motor vehicle accidents
More training is needed
On-the-job accidents and injuries leave workers financially vulnerable and cost employers millions of dollars each year. The study described above suggests that more effective safety training could prevent accidents and lower costs.