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, 2010-2019

($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
2010 $32,247,870 -12.7% 107.9 6.4 pts. 114 7 pts.
2011 31,643,087 -1.9 116.1 8.2 110 -4
2012 35,664,230 12.7 117.6 1.5 102 -8
2013 38,947,491 9.2 110.4 -7.2 96 -6
2014 41,147,216 5.6 103.0 -7.4 92 -4
2015 43,753,885 6.3 101.9 -1.2 92 0
2016 45,355,102 3.7 95.5 -6.4 93 1
2017 45,619,831 0.6 95.6 0.1 96 3
2018 45,047,380 -1.3 92.2 -3.4 95 -1
2019 48,343,292 7.3 86.2 -5.9 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, 2019 (1)

 

Rank Occupation Number Percent of total
1 Laborers (2) 64,160 7.2%
2 Truck drivers, heavy and tractor-trailer 47,990 5.4
3 Nursing assistants 27,590 3.1
4 Stockers and order fillers 27,390 3.1
5 Retail salespersons 24,870 2.8
6 Light truck drivers 23,070 2.6
7 General maintenance and repair workers 21,490 2.4
8 Registered nurses 20,150 2.3
9 Construction laborers 19,790 2.2
10 Janitors and cleaners 18,680 2.1
  Total, top 10 295,180 33.2%
  Total, all occupations 888,220 100.0%

(1) Nonfatal injuries and illnesses involving days off from work for private industries; excludes farms with fewer than 11 employees.
(2) Laborers and freight, stock and material movers.

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, 2019

($000)

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written (1) Market share (2)
1 Travelers Companies Inc. $4,211,529 7.8%
2 Hartford Financial Services 3,365,298 6.2
3 Zurich Insurance Group 2,640,320 4.9
4 Liberty Mutual 2,447,306 4.5
5 Chubb Ltd. 2,430,118 4.5
6 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 2,311,261 4.3
7 AmTrust Financial 2,172,219 4.0
8 Accident Fund Group 1,744,640 3.2
9 American International Group (AIG) 1,453,477 2.7
10 Old Republic International Corp. 1,408,124 2.6

(1) Before reinsurance transactions, includes state funds.
(2) Based on U.S. total, includes territories.

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, transportation related accidents (including vehicle crashes) were the leading cause of workplace deaths in 2018, with 2,080 fatalities, accounting for 40 percent of the total.

In 2018 the highest rate of workplace fatalities was among logging workers, fishing industry workers, aircraft pilots and flight engineers, and roofers. These workers had fatality rates that were more than 10 times the all-worker rate of 3.5 deaths per 100,000 workers.

Workplace Deaths By Selected Cause, 2017-2018 (1)

 

  2017 2018
Cause Number Number Percent of total
All transportation (includes vehicle crashes) 2,077 2,080 40%
     Vehicle crashes (2) 1,299 1,276 24
Falls   887 791 15
Intentional injury by person (includes homicides) 733 757 14
     Homicides 458 453 9
Contact with objects and equipment   695 786 15
Exposure to harmful substances or environments 531 621 12
Fires and explosions   123 115 2
Total workplace fatalities   5,147 5,250 100%

(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 chart below shows 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, 2019 (1)

($ millions)

Rank State Month Type of facility Estimated loss
1 Texas November Petrochemical plant $1,100.0
2 California October Wildfire 383.8
3 California June Restaurant 36.0
4 California June Helicopter 30.0
4 Texas July Power generation plant 30.0
5 Ohio February Shipboard fire (In port for repairs) 25.0
6 California October Wildfire 20.5
6 Tennessee September Metal refining 20.5
7 North Carolina April Coffee shop gas explosion and fire 20.0
7 Massachusetts March Manufacturing 20.0

(1) Large-loss fires of $20 million or more in 2019.

Note: Loss data shown here may differ from figures shown elsewhere for the same event due to differences in the date of publication, the geographical area covered and other criteria used by organizations collecting the data.

Source: National Fire Protection Association www.nfpa.org.

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See also: Spotlight on: marijuana and employment; Spotlight On: Workers Compensation

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