Aging Workforce? It May Not Affect Your Workers Comp Claims Like You Think.

On average, Michigan workers tend to trend older than other states. But that may not be affecting your workers compensation claims in the ways that you think. 

“Overall, the findings can be viewed as reassuring,” a new report from the National Council on Compensation Insurance states, “in that an aging workforce appears to have a far less negative impact on workers compensation claims than might have been thought.”

That’s in part, however, because younger workers are increasingly receiving high severity diagnoses. Some planning ahead of time, however, can help protect you from cost increases over time.

The NCCI report notes that increases in costs related to injuries due to high severity diagnosis are now becoming common in younger-age, as well as older cohorts. On average, costs for workers aged 35 to 64 trended the same and were only higher compared to the average costs for workers aged 16 to 34. Workers 20 to 24 have “markedly lower” severities and loss costs while workers 25 to 34 tend to fall in the middle.

Other key findings include:

  • The conventional wisdom that said that younger workers have much higher injury rates is no longer true. Differences in loss costs these days actually reflect differences in severities, which have flattened across age groups over 35.
  • While severity has averaged out between age groups, older workers tend to have more rotator cuff and knee injuries while younger workers have more back and ankle sprains.
  • For a range of specific diagnoses, the shares by type of workplace injury are comparable across age groups. For example, the shares of claims due to “sprain of neck” that were temporary toltal injuries are virtually identical for both younger and older workers.

Following the report’s wisdom, preventing injury and planning for safety across age groups may be the best way to prevent an increase in workers comp insurance rates.

Performing periodic safety inspections to help identify and correct conditions before they lead to injury, as well as properly training all employees on how to use safety equipment and procedures, as well as personal protective gear may help create an overall environment of safety, particularly if they’re repeated at least once a year.

Employees with years of service may glean new lessons to prevent injury as they grow older – and all employees will have regular exposure to lessons that should become habit over time.

Return-to-work programs may also provide help to employees recovering from injuries.

For more information on what you can do call us at 866.919.9578 or connect with us here to find out how you can jumpstart your efforts to lower your insurance costs.