Across the country, employers spend a fair amount of resources improving safety and ensuring minimal accidents and illnesses on the job. In fact, a recent report by the National Council on Compensation Insurance has found that claim frequency is on the way down, and an improved focus on safety can further help to continue that trend.
Declining workers' compensation insurance claims are naturally good news for employers. With fewer claims come fewer expenses, plus the added benefit of a smaller number of workplace accidents keeping skilled employees away from their jobs. Overall, this declining statistic could lead to improved productivity and a stronger bottom line for many companies.
Claim frequency ticks down again
According to the NCCI report, the 2013 accident year experienced small decreases in the number of lost-time workers' comp claims. In all likelihood, any fluctuations were driven in part by the Great Recession, which contracted the U.S. economy primarily between 2007 and 2009.
NCCI noted that lost-time claim frequency ticked down 2 percent during 2013. The last reported increase was back in 2010, with decreases experienced each following year. In addition, the overall trend since 1990 has been positive as well. Between that year and 2009, claim frequency dropped at an average rate of 4 percent each year.
The NCCI explained that the type of workers' comp claim is altered by the economy. Due to this past recession, for example, 2012 saw fewer claims above $50,000. Furthermore, all major industries felt a decline in claim frequency between 2008 and 2012.
Improved safety can keep claims down
While the shifting number of insurance claims may be related to several factors, employers do have a fair amount of control over their companies. When it comes to workers' comp, the best way to prevent accidents is to improve overall safety.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety magazine, this can be achieved by updating technology. Managers are tasked with assessing their staff, their systems and processes, among other factors. This can get overwhelming at times and lead to important considerations slipping through the cracks. Instead, technology can streamline everything. For example, web-based systems can oversee safety, training programs and other factors that could prevent on-the-job accidents. In addition, technology is also perfect for collecting, analyzing and storing data related to safety.
With these measures in place, it should be easier for employers to not only understand the risks in their companies, but also implement effective solutions to improve safety.