Study Reveals the Impact of Workplace Injuries on Workers’ First Year on the Job

Workplace injuries can be a major challenge, not just for the affected worker but also for the company and the economy. Recent studies have highlighted the significance of workplace injuries that happen during a worker’s first year on the job, shedding light on the impact of such incidents. According to the Travelers Companies’ 2023 Injury Impact Report, over a third of all workplace injuries occur within the first year of employment. This article delves into the key findings of the study and what employers can do to minimize the impact of injuries that occur during the first year of work.

The Travelers Companies’ 2023 Injury Impact Report found that 34% of all workplace injuries happen during workers’ first year on the job. These incidents resulted in nearly seven million missed workdays and one-third of workers’ compensation costs. The implications of these numbers are significant, as they indicate the potential for loss of productivity and increased costs for organizations.

Industries most affected

The study also found that the prevalence of first-year injuries varied by industry, with the restaurant, construction, and transportation sectors recording the highest incidence of such incidents. Over half of all first-year injuries happen in restaurants (53%), while the construction and transportation industries accounted for 47% and 40% of such incidents, respectively.

Age and experience

Interestingly, the study found that the highest percentage of injuries were among more experienced workers, not first-year employees. However, the cost per claim for injuries sustained by 18-24-year-olds was twice that of those under the age of 18, and this cost increased with age. The age groups 25-34 (three times the cost compared to those under 18), 35-49 (4.4 times), 50-59 (4.9 times), and 60+ (five times) all showed an increase in the cost of injuries.

Implications for the workforce

With the number of older employees in the workforce growing, the impact of first-year injuries becomes more significant. As The Travelers Companies’ report highlights, this is especially critical because more experienced workers are likely to have higher salaries, resulting in higher workers’ compensation costs and lost workdays for companies.

Common causes of injuries

The three most typical causes of workplace injuries are overexertion (29%), slips, trips, and falls (23%), and being struck by an object (13%). These accidents can result in injuries that can cause workers to miss work and incur medical expenses.

Average lost workdays by industry

It is essential to understand the average number of lost workdays per injured worker in different industries to comprehend the economic impact of workplace injuries. The construction sector had the highest average lost workdays due to injury, with 99 lost workdays per injured worker. Small businesses had an average of 79 lost workdays per injured worker, followed by the wholesale (69) and manufacturing sectors (66).

Employer Responsibility

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) stipulates that employers must provide their employees with a workplace that is free of serious hazards. Employers must abide by OSHA guidelines to ensure the safety of their employees.

Workplace injuries can disrupt the productivity and overall operations of any company, and first-year injuries are no exception. By understanding the impact of first-year injuries, employers can take measures to minimize these incidents. Organizations must prioritize employee safety and adhere to OSHA standards to maintain a safe working environment that fosters productivity and saves costs.

Explore more