15 Most Expensive Industries for Workers Comp

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Contributor, Benzinga
August 9, 2022

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Every day, when employees arrive onsite and begin work, they take a risk. Recent statistics from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health show more than 2.4 million workers per year sustain a significant occupational injury or illness and are treated in hospital emergency room departments.

Some industries, such as trucking or construction work, have a higher percentage of employee accidents because of the hazardous nature of the work. Insurance providers must charge an adequate premium according to the risk. The higher the risk and chance of a claim, the higher the workers comp premium. 

The 15 Most Expensive Industries for Workers Comp

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), these industries are considered the most hazardous and therefore may experience higher workers’ compensation premium costs than other industries. The rankings are based on the death rate per 100,000 workers, number of deaths, nonfatal injury rates per 10,000 workers and nonfatal injury numbers.

  1. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting
  2. Transportation and warehousing
  3. Mining
  4. Construction
  5. Wholesale trade
  6. Leisure and hospitality
  7. Manufacturing
  8. Professional and business services
  9. Other services
  10. Retail trade
  11. Government
  12. Utilities
  13. Information
  14. Financial activities
  15. Education and health services

Risk Factors for Workers Comp Insurance

Despite the fact that every company aspires for a zero-incident environment, mishaps are inevitable. Taking time to understand the factors driving workers compensation claims can help you develop an effective risk management plan, contributing to a safer work environment for your employees. Factors that raise an employer's workers compensation risk include the following.

  1. Inexperienced workers
  2. Workers who lack training in safety procedures
  3. Underlying medical and mental illnesses of employees including obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and other conditions.
  4. Employee substance abuse and addiction
  5. Employee’s lack of knowledge of the company’s emergency procedures
  6. Cluttered or slippery floors that can contribute to employee slips and falls
  7. No formal company safety procedures
  8. Employee fatigue
  9. Understaffing
  10. No use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

Reporting Procedures for Workers Comp Claims

When an employee is injured at work, it might be difficult to cope. In reality, workplace injuries can make an individual feel nervous and uncomfortable. That's very understandable. No one expects to be injured at work. The goal is to return the injured worker to work as quickly as possible. This procedure can be expedited by promptly reporting claims. Here are some pointers to keep in mind while filing a workers compensation claim.

Keeping the lines of communication open between the injured employee, the doctor, the claims adjuster and their insurance agent is in the best interest of a business owner who has an injured employee. That way, your employee gets the money for treatment more quickly after filing a claim and can return to work as soon as feasible.

You have a limited window in which to report and file an injury claim following an on-the-job accident, illness or injury. Workers compensation insurance coverage may be denied if this submission isn't done.

Employers need to teach their workers to immediately report work-related injuries. Although you normally submit a claim for workers compensation on behalf of your employees, you must first gather information and documents to support your claim.

When an employee is injured, the first thing you should do is tell them to go to the doctor if they haven't already. To begin the claims process, you must:

  • Give your injured employee the proper details needed to report a workers comp claim including the details of the injury, date and time of the injury and where the injury occurred.
  • Whenever possible, speak with potential witnesses and document what they have to say to back up the details of the claim.
  • Fill out claim forms and submit them to the insurance company.
  • If necessary, file an initial report of injury with the workers compensation board in your state.

If you have any questions about your state's workers compensation regulations, you should contact your state's department of insurance.

How Your Business Can Reduce Workers Comp Claims

Even in the safest work environments, workplace accidents can and will occur. When this happens, you do everything you can to assist your employee in recovering and returning to work. At the same time, you run the risk of workers compensation claim costs growing rapidly and out of control.

A good risk management program can help your business in a variety of ways. Perhaps the most essential benefit is that it lowers your bottom line by reducing the cost of employees getting hurt on the job, the cost of medical care for those employees and the cost of people missing work.

Businesses that establish and maintain safe work environments reduce the frequency and severity of claims, lowering the experience modification factor (ex-mod, the formula that determines workers comp insurance premiums).

Here are nine tips for reducing workers comp claims for your company.

1. Make safety a priority.

Your company's top concern should always be ensuring employee safety. Every employee should know that safety is a major priority in the workplace, from the CEO to the person who was hired only a few days ago. Safety procedures and regulations should be documented, including in employee handbooks, and posted across the workplace, if necessary.

All employees should be required to sign a paper stating that they are aware of the company's safety policies and agree to follow them at all times.

2. Hire only qualified employees.

Employers must take the time to find and hire the best people for the position. If the organization wants to improve its general knowledge of workplace safety, it might benefit from a variety of safety certifications. It is important to verify certifications an applicant claims to hold before hiring them, as well as the candidate's previous job experience.

3. Employee safety training.

To keep the workplace safe, safety protocols should be included in employee handbooks and new hires should be informed. Further education and training should also be provided and encouraged. These efforts include instruction in the proper use of equipment and machinery as well as in all other areas of a worker's responsibilities.

4. Make sure there are enough employees to do the job.

Overworked and understaffed employees can cause workplace injuries. Employees may suffer from exhaustion or stress as a result of inadequate staffing levels, which can lead to further workplace mishaps. Hiring part-time or seasonal personnel can help alleviate some of the workload during peak operating periods.

5. Carry out regular safety checks.

It is important for an employer to do a thorough risk assessment of the entire workplace on an ongoing basis, in addition to routine maintenance of machinery and equipment. Employees should feel empowered to raise concerns about potential dangers at work. The company's current measures should also be inspected by employers to ensure they are functional and appropriate.

6. Assist workers in obtaining adequate PPE.

Workers should have access to adequate PPE when performing work-related duties. To ensure the safety and efficacy of PPE, all employees should be educated on the proper use and maintenance of their equipment.

7. Ensure that your equipment is serviced on a regular basis.

Equipment, vehicles or machinery failure are common causes of workplace accidents. The machinery and equipment used by employees should always be properly and appropriately maintained by their employer.

If your equipment has parts that malfunction or has to be replaced, it should be repaired or replaced immediately. All maintenance records, including those for damaged equipment, should be documented by an employer.

8. Ensure the security of the job site.

Maintaining a safe working environment should be part of every employee's job description.

9. Listen to your employee's safety concerns.

For fear of being dismissed or retaliated against, many employees are reluctant to raise safety concerns with their employers. Make use of a suggestion box or offer incentives to encourage employees to come up with innovative solutions to the problem of workplace safety.

Compare Workers Comp Insurance Options

Benzinga has created a list of the leading workers compensation insurance providers for you to consider. To begin your search for workers' compensation coverage, explore the following companies' insurance offerings.

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Tell Simply Business a little bit about your business and you'll get almost-instantaneous affordable quotes from top insurance providers to protect your business and safeguard yourself. You can also look into business owner’s plans, additional liability insurance, commercial auto and more that will cover everyone on your team, and you can get covered in accordance with state law without overspending. 

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Frequently Asked Questions


What age group of workers is most likely to be injured?


According to the CDC, workers less than 25 years of age are most likely to be treated in emergency rooms for jobsite accidents and injuries than any other age group.


What industry experienced the most workplace deaths?


Statistics from the National Safety Council show more deaths occurred in the construction industry than in any other industry in 2020.


Benzinga crafted a specific methodology to rank workers comp insurance. We prioritized carriers based on coverage options, specialized industries, customer service experience and how quickly and easily you're able to get insured including online tool usage. We also included workers comp insurance quote aggregators in lists to make it easy and efficient to compare policy quotes and options. To see a comprehensive breakdown of our methodology, please visit see our Workers' Compensation Insurance Methodology page.

Most Dangerous Industries Per State

The construction industry reports the most injuries and workers' compensation claims in 38 out of 50 states.

Second place goes to the forestry industry, followed by the transportation industry. By law, businesses with more than 1 employee must carry workers' compensation insurance. Workers' compensation insurance protects both your business and employees and creates a safety net for wage replacements and medical benefits.

Use our calculator to determine how much workers' compensation will cost you and your business.