New evidence suggests that tenure, even more than age, is an important variable driving workers’ compensation claims. Loss-time frequency may be driven by an influx of new workers and the return of older workers.
And the difference is more significant in the current economic recovery. A recent study found that injury rates were 4-6 times higher for workers during their first month on the job.1
Where’s the Greatest Risk?
- Tenure of less than one year was the single most significant predictor
- Inexperienced workers have 2-4 times the loss cost relativity
- Workers with tenure of less than a year have a much higher claims frequency – regardless of age
- Workers tenured for 2+ years have relatively low claims frequency and loss costs
- Severity is higher in older workers, regardless of experience
With effective candidate selection, hiring and training, you can help offset the impact of inexperience.
Putting these new-hire controls into practice can help.
Pre-Employment Controls Post-Employment Controls
- Background checks (criminal, motor vehicle registration, financial
- Verification of employment, education, licensing, credentials
- Behavioral assessments (culture fit, risk potential, job skills, cognitive abilities, critical thinking, abstract reasoning)
- Drug testing
Limit Risks That Can Impact New Hires & Short-Tenured Employees
Every employer has a legal obligation under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to provide and maintain a safe and healthful workplace for employees. A comprehensive safety and health program will address exposure associated with new hires and all employees.
Persistent Risk Management Can Help Curb Work-Related Injuries
By understanding the link between workers’ compensation claims and employee selection, placement and safety on-boarding, you’ll be in better position to help reduce frequency and severity of claims and retain the more highly skilled, experienced, and productive workers
Remember that risk management for work-related injuries doesn’t end at hire. A persistent effort works best. While special attention and safety training should be provided to newly hired workers, the benefits can extend to all employees and company operations in general.
1 Breslin FC, Smith P. Trial by fire: a multivariate examination of the relation between job tenure and work injuries. Occup Environ Med. 2006;13:27–32.