Workplace Safety/Workers Comp

Workplace Safety/Workers Comp

Workplace Safety

WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE

The fatal fire and explosion at the West Fertilizer Co. plant in Texas in 2013 calls attention to the issue of workplace safety in the state. A massive 1947 fire in the S.S. Grandcamp and Monsanto Chemical Company plant in Texas City, Texas ranked eight among the top 20 multiple death fires in U.S. history according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Workers compensation insurance provides for the cost of medical care and rehabilitation for injured workers and lost wages and death benefits for the dependents of persons killed in work-related accidents. Workers compensation systems vary from state to state. Workers compensation combined ratios are expressed in two ways. Calendar year results reflect claim payments and changes in reserves for accidents that happened in that year or earlier. Accident year results only include losses from a particular year.

 

WORKERS COMPENSATION INSURANCE, 2005-2014

($000)

      Combined ratio (1)
Year Net premiums
written (2)
Annual percent
change
Calendar
year (3)
Annual point
change (4)
Accident
year (5)
Annual point
change
2005 $38,981,699 6.1% 102.1 -4.8 pts. 87 -1 pts.
2006 41,820,419 7.3 95.4 -6.7 86 -1
2007 40,610,991 -2.9 101.7 6.3 99 13
2008 36,939,016 -9.0 101.5 -0.2 106 7
2009 32,247,870 -12.7 107.9 6.4 110 4
2010 31,643,087 -1.9 116.1 8.2 118 8
2011 35,664,230 12.7 117.6 1.5 113 -5
2012 38,747,594 8.6 110.4 -7.3 106 -7
2013 40,921,639 5.6 103.0 -7.4 99 -7
2014 43,546,737 6.4 102.4 -0.6 95 (6) -4

(1) After dividends to policyholders. A drop in the combined ratio represents an improvement; an increase represents a deterioration.
(2) After reinsurance transactions, excludes state funds.
(3) Calendar year data are from SNL Financial.
(4) Calculated from unrounded data.
(5) Accident year data are from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) and exclude state funds.
(6) Estimated by NCCI.

Source: SNL Financial LC; ©National Council on Compensation Insurance.

View Archived Tables

 

 

TOP 10 OCCUPATIONS WITH THE LARGEST NUMBER OF INJURIES AND ILLNESSES, 2013 (1)

Rank Occupation  Number Percent of total
1 Laborers (nonconstruction) 53,740 5.9%
2 Truck drivers, heavy and tractor trailer 49,000 5.3
3 Nursing assistants 41,450 4.5
4 Janitors and cleaners 39,040 4.3
5 General maintenance and repair workers 28,460 3.1
6 Police and sheriff's patrol officers 28,170 3.1
7 Registered nurses 27,020 2.9
8 Retail salespersons 26,830 2.9
9 Light truck and delivery service drivers 23,980 2.6
10 Stock clerks and order fillers 22,710 2.5
  Total, top 10 340,400 37.1%
  Total, all occupations 917,090 100.0%

(1) Nonfatal injuries and illnesses involving days off from work for private industries; excludes farms with fewer than 11 employees.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

View Archived Tables

 

 

TOP 10 WRITERS OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION INSURANCE BY DIRECT PREMIUMS WRITTEN, 2014

($000)

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written (1) Market share (2)
1 Travelers Companies Inc. $4,320,787 7.9%
2 Hartford Financial Services 3,210,187 5.8
3 Liberty Mutual  2,660,002 4.8
4 Zurich Insurance Group (3) 2,575,336 4.7
5 American International Group 2,550,947 4.6
6 State Insurance Fund Workers' Comp (NY) 2,374,259 4.3
7 AmTrust Financial Services 2,357,858 4.3
8 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 2,139,534 3.9
9 State Compensation Insurance Fund (CA) 1,528,879 2.8
10 Old Republic International Corp. 1,411,678 2.6

(1) Before reinsurance transactions, includes some state funds.
(2) Based on U.S. total, includes territories.
(3) Data for Farmers Insurance Group of Companies and Zurich Financial Group (which owns Farmers' management company) are reported separately by SNL Financial LC.

Source: SNL Financial LC.

View Archived Tables

 

CAUSES OF WORKPLACE DEATHS

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the highest rate of workplace fatalities in 2014 was among logging workers, with 109.5 deaths per 100,000 full-time employees, followed by fishing workers, aircraft pilots and flight engineers and roofers. The all-industry average was 3.3 deaths per 100,000 workers.

 

WORKPLACE DEATHS BY CAUSE, 2013-2014 (1)

  2013 2014
Cause Number  Number  Percent of total
All transportation (includes vehicle crashes) 1,865 1,891 40%
     Vehicle crashes (2) 1,099 1,075 23
Falls   724 793 17
Assaults and violence (includes homicides) 773 749 16
     Homicides 404 403 9
Contact with objects and equipment 721 708 15
Exposure to harmful substances or environments 335 390 8
Fires and explosions 149 137 3
Total workplace fatalities 4,585 4,679 100%

(1) From intentional and unintentional sources.
(2) Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

View Archived Tables

 

LARGE LOSS FIRES

The charts below show the costliest large-loss fires, many of which involve industrial facilities and other non-residential structures. The rankings are based on property loss data from the National Fire Protection Association. For further data see NFPA statistics.

 

TOP 10 MOST COSTLY LARGE-LOSS FIRES IN U.S. HISTORY

($ millions)

      Estimated loss (1)
Rank Date Location/event Dollars when occurred  In 2014 dollars (2)
1 Sep. 11, 2001 World Trade Center (terrorist attacks) $33,400 (3) $44,700 (3)
2 Apr. 18, 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire 350 9,150
3 Oct. 8-9, 1871 Great Chicago Fire 168 3,350
4 Oct. 20, 1991 Oakland, CA, fire storm 1,500 2,640
5 Oct. 20, 2007 San Diego County, CA, The Southern California Firestorm 1,800 2,030
6 Nov. 9, 1872 Great Boston Fire 75 1,520
7 Oct. 23, 1989 Pasadena, Texas, polyolefin plant 750 1,420
8 May 4, 2000 Los Alamos, NM, Cerro Grande wildland fire 1,000 1,420
9 Oct. 25, 2003 Julian, CA, Cedar wildland fire  1,100 1,320
10 Feb. 7, 1904 Baltimore, MD, Baltimore Conflagration 50 1,320

(1) Loss estimates are from National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) records. The list is limited to fires for which some reliable dollar loss estimates exists.
(2) Adjustment to 2013 dollars made by the NFPA using the Consumer Price Index, including the U.S. Census Bureau's estimates of the index for historical times; adjusted to 2014 dollars by the Insurance Information Institute using the Bureau of Labor Statistics Inflation Calculator.
(3) Differs from inflation-adjusted estimates made by other organizations due to the use of different deflators.

Source: Reproduced with permission from Large-Loss Fires in the United States, 2013 by Stephen G. Badger, ©National Fire Protection Association. www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics.

View Archived Tables

 

 

TOP 10 MOST COSTLY LARGE-LOSS FIRES, 2014

($ millions)

Rank Month State Type of facility Estimated loss
1 September California Pier  $100.2
2 October Kansas Airport flight safety building 61.5
3 March Texas Apartment building under construction 50.0
4 March California Apartment building under construction 41.0
5 March Iowa Meatpacking plant 30.0
6 May California Wildland/urban complex 29.8
7 December California Apartment building under construction 27.1
8 June California Yacht  25.1
9 December Wisconsin Cheese storage and manufacturing 25.0
10 August South Carolina Gas distribution plant 25.0

Source: Reproduced with permission from Large-Loss Fires in the United States, 2014 by Stephen G. Badger, ©National Fire Protection Association. www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics.

View Archived Tables