Facts + Statistics: Workplace Safety/Workers Comp

Workers Compensation Insurance

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, 2008-2017

($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
2008 $36,939,016 -9.0% 101.5 -0.2 pts. 104 6 pts.
2009 32,247,870 -12.7 107.9 6.4 107 3
2010 31,643,087 -1.9 116.1 8.2 115 8
2011 35,664,230 12.7 117.6 1.5 111 -4
2012 38,947,491 9.2 110.4 -7.2 103 -8
2013 41,147,216 5.6 103.0 -7.4 97 -6
2014 43,753,885 6.3 101.9 -1.2 93 -4
2015 45,355,102 3.7 95.5 -6.4 94 1
2016 45,619,831 0.6 95.6 0.1 95 1
2017 45,047,380 -1.3 92.2 -3.4 99 (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 S&P Global Market Intelligence.
(4) Calculated from unrounded data.
(5) Accident year data are from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI).
(6) Estimated by NCCI.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute; ©National Council on Compensation Insurance.

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Top 10 Private Industry Occupations With The Largest Number Of Injuries And Illnesses, 2017 (1)

 

Rank Occupation  Number Percent of total
1 Laborers (nonconstruction) 64,410 7.3%
2 Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer 47,860 5.4
3 Janitors and cleaners 35,580 4.0
4 Nursing assistants 34,210 3.9
5 General maintenance and repair workers 30,580 3.5
6 Retail salespersons 25,200 2.9
7 Registered nurses 24,540 2.8
8 Stock clerks and order fillers 23,990 2.7
9 Construction laborers 23,290 2.6
10 Light truck and delivery service drivers 22,830 2.6
  Total, top 10 332,490 37.7%
  Total, all occupations 882,730 100.0%

(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.

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Top 10 Writers Of Workers' Compensation Insurance By Direct Premiums Written, 2016

($000)

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written (1) Market share (2)
1 Travelers Companies Inc. $4,427,997 7.6%
2 Hartford Financial Services 3,328,753 5.7
3 AmTrust Financial Services  3,110,623 5.4
4 Zurich Insurance Group (3) 2,835,537 4.9
5 Berkshire Hathaway Inc.  2,669,994 4.6
6 Chubb Ltd.  (4) 2,490,183 4.3
7 State Ins Fund Workers' Comp (NY) 2,437,552 4.2
8 Liberty MHC Inc. 2,404,050 4.2
9 American International Group  1,864,297 3.2
10 State Compensation Ins Fund (CA) 1,612,050 2.8

(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 S&P Global Market Intelligence.
(4) Chubb Ltd. data reflect the 2015 merger with Ace Ltd.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

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Causes of Workplace Deaths

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the highest rate of workplace fatalities in 2015 was among logging workers, with 132.7 deaths per 100,000 full-time employees, followed by fishing workers, aircraft pilots and flight engineers, and roofers. The all-industry average was 3.4 deaths per 100,000 workers.

 

Workplace Deaths By Selected Cause, 2015-2016 (1)

  2015 2016
Cause Number Number Percent of total
All transportation (includes vehicle crashes) 2,054 2,083 40%
     Vehicle crashes (2) 1,264 1,252 24
Falls   800 849 16
Assaults and violence (includes homicides)   703 866 17
     Homicides 417 500 10
Contact with objects and equipment 722 761 15
Exposure to harmful substances or environments 424 518 10
Fires and explosions 121 88 2
Total workplace fatalities 4,836 5,190 100%

(1) From intentional and unintentional sources. Data in this chart do not add to total workplace fatalities due to the inclusion of miscellaneous injuries in the total.
(2) Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles.

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

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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 Costliest Large-Loss Fires In U.S. History

($ millions)

      Estimated loss (1)
Rank Date Location/event Dollars when occurred In 2017 dollars (2)
1 Sep. 11, 2001 World Trade Center (terrorist attacks) $33,400 (3) $46,300 (3)
2 Oct. 8, 2017 Northern, CA, wildland urban interface fire 10,000 10,000
3 Apr. 18, 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire 350 9,500
4 Oct. 8-9, 1871 Great Chicago Fire 168 3,400
5 Oct. 20, 1991 Oakland, CA, firestorm 1,500 2,700
6 Oct. 20, 2007 San Diego County, CA, The Southern California Firestorm 1,800 2,100
7 Dec. 2017 Southern, CA, wildland urban interface fire 1,800 2,100
8 Sep. 12, 2015 Valley Fire, CA, wildland urban interface fire 1,500 1,600
9 Nov. 9, 1872 Great Boston Fire 75 1,500
10 Oct. 23, 1989 Pasadena, Texas, polyolefin plant 750 1,500

(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 2017 dollars made by the NFPA using the Consumer Price Index, including the U.S. Census Bureau's estimates of the index for historical times.
(3) Differs from inflation-adjusted estimates made by other organizations due to the use of different deflators.

Source: ©National Fire Protection Association. www.nfpa.org/research/reports-and-statistics.

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Top 10 Costliest Large-Loss Fires, 2017

($ millions)

Rank Month State Type of facility Estimated loss
1 October California Wildland urban interface fire $10,020.0
2 December California Wildland urban interface fire 1,775.2
3 July Massachusetts Apartments under construction 110.0
4 July Hawaii 569-unit apartment building 107.4
5 April Maryland Apartments under construction 100.0
6 March North Carolina Apartments under construction 62.5
7 January Florida Paper mill 50.0
8 May California Apartments under construction 50.0
9 June Massachusetts Apartments under construction 45.0
10 March Pennsylvania Saw mill 35.6

Source: Reproduced with permission from Large-Loss Fires in the United States, 2017 by Stephen G. Badger, ©National Fire Protection Association. www.nfpa.org.

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