An insurer’s study of a decade of workers compensation claims reveals that injury reports in 2021 came from employees who hadn’t been on the job as long as those who reported claims in 2011.

On average, workplace-related injuries came after just over five years on the job—5.2 years of service—in 2021, compared to 6.4 years in 2011, Selective Insurance reported yesterday.

In addition, across nearly all industries, more and more employees are getting injured during their first year on the job. According to Selective, first-year employees filed 38 percent of the workers compensation claims reported to Selective in 2021, compared to 32 percent of workers comp claims coming from first-year reports in 2011.

The exception is construction contractors, where 40 percent of workers compensation claims were filed by first-year employees in both 2021 and 2011.

Source: Selective’s 10-year study of its workers compensation claims

The highest percentage of first-year claims came in the retail and professional services bucket in both years, with 43 percent of comp claims reported for workers with one year or less on the job in these sectors.

Selective also found that the largest jump in first-year employee injuries came for employers in manufacturing and wholesalers businesses, where 42 percent of comp claims were for first-year workers in 2021. That compares to just 31 percent in 2011.

“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 including safety hazards, emergency response plans and safe driving expectations if company vehicles are operated,” said Scott Smith, vice president and director of Safety Management for Selective Insurance.

Referring to the other main study finding—that workers comp claims are filed just over five years into an employee’s tenure, on average—Paul Kush, executive vice president and chief claims officer, stressed the importance of ongoing and effective employee training and safety management across all industries. “With labor shortages and the challenging hiring environment, tenured employees may be taking on additional responsibilities, which is why workplace injury prevention strategies to help employees stay safe should be top-of-mind for businesses,” Kush said.

Source: Selective’s 10-year study of its workers compensation claims

Selective’s analysis also includes summaries of the most common types of workplace claims by industry and reported to Selective from 2011 to 2021.

Source: Selective Insurance