Recent studies from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) shows the frequency of claims for workplace injuries once again declined in 2009…analysts expect this trend to continue into 2010.
Specifically, preliminary data shows a 4% decline in claims in 2009, which comes on the heels of a 3.4% decline in 2008. In fact, this downward trend has been the norm since 1991.
Declines in the frequency of claims continue to be consistent across all industries, geographical areas, employer sizes and even among most types of claims. More complex claims like carpal tunnel and lower back injuries have experienced a higher than average decline in the last 5 years.
NCCI attributes this decline to a variety of factors, including:
- New technologies like robotics, better ergonomic designs and automation
- An aging workplace since older workers tend to have fewer injuries
- Increased employer efforts on workplace safety and injury prevention
- Tightening compensation standards
Somewhat offsetting this positive news though, the indemnity costs (i.e. lost time, etc.) and medical severity of claims continues to increase.
One of the exhibits in NCCI’s study shows the medical costs of on-the-job injury claims continue to increase faster than the Medical Consumer Price Index. While this gapped narrowed somewhat in 2009, increasing medical workers’ compensation costs continue to increase faster than medical costs in general.
It’s good to see the frequency of claims on the decline for good reasons. Good injury prevention practices help both you and your employer. No one wants to be injured on-the-job but if you are, you need to consider enlisting the help of a Colorado workers’ compensation attorney to ensure you receive all of the benefits entitled to you under the law.
Workers’ compensation laws in Colorado and elsewhere are very complex. Injured workers who try and deal with the system themselves are too often left holding the back in regard to medical costs and lost time from work.