LEARNING FROM OUR PASTS: A CLAIMS REVIEW OF 2019
Reducing workplace safety incidents in an effort to achieve the ultimate goal of zero injuries is a key objective of successful businesses. By prioritizing employee safety, employers can not only significantly reduce the cost of their workers’ compensation, but also boost employee morale, productivity and profits.
To help clients achieve zero injuries, Friedlander Group studied clients’ claims data from 2019 to determine the most frequently occurring and costly claims. By learning from past claims and understanding their causes, employers can more easily identify possible workplace hazards and focus on safety training with their staff to avoid workplace injuries.
In 2019, Friedlander Group’s Claims Solutions™ team handled over 4,375 claims with a total incurred cost of $20.1 million. All of the injuries were categorized into forty different incident causes. Of these forty incident causes only five were responsible for 49% of the freqeuency of all claims. Similarly, the leading five incident causes were also responsible for 67% of all claims cost.
The five most frequently occurring incident causes in 2019 that were responsible for 49% of all claims are as follows:
1. Slips, Trips, & Falls – 22% of Claims
2. Struck – 10% of Claims
3. Cuts – 8% of Claims
4. Automobile– 5% of Claims
5. Consumer Aggression – 4% of Claims
However, only two of the five most frequently occurring claims coincided with the list of the claims that had the highest cost incurred.
The five incident causes with the highest total cost incurred were responsible for 67%, or $13.7 million. The most costly incident causes of 2019 were as follows:
1. Slip, Trips, and Falls– 41% of claims cost or $8.3 Million
2. Automobile – 9% or $1.9 Million
3. Lifting –7% or $1.4 Million
4. Struck By –5% or 1.1 Million
5. Twisted – 5% or 1.1 Million
The most expensive claim in 2019 was a slip, trip, and fall incident with a total incurred cost of $945,850 – almost triple the value of the second most expensive claim, which was an automobile incident that had a total cost
Interestingly, the incident cause with the highest cost per claim was on neither the most frequent nor costly incident lists. Occupational claims actually had the most expensive cost per incident at $12,218. While, the least expensive cost per incident was for electric shock claims at $333 per incident. The average cost of an incident in 2019 was $4,663.
Of the 4,375 claims reported, the Friedlander Claims Solutions™ team was able to use The Self-Payment Technique™ to keep 27%, or 1,172 first-aid type claims “out of the system”. This unique service helps clients capture savings of up to three times the out of pocket costs on their workers’ compensation insurance by reducing experience modifications.
Employers should use their claims history to identify hazards and make improvements in safety and training. Safety-driven organizations publish articles constantly with helpful tools and tips to improve employee safety. Some of the best resources can be found at: https://www.friedlandergroup.com/claims-solutions/safety-solutions/