The costs associated with injury claims can be tremendous, with potential risks to your bottom line.
Honan’s Risksmart have been keeping a database of public liability claims for the last 10 years and have recently released a report on the top three factors that impact the cost of a workplace injury claim.
According to the report, while there are many factors that influence how much a claim may cost such as age, current health or even work status, it’s the questions around the injury itself that gives us the best indication of impact or cost. These three questions are:
- How many parts of the body are affected?
The figures show that, although it might seem otherwise, injury to just one part of the body rather than two walked away with a larger amount of money.
- Is it a joint injury or soft tissue?
Honan’s data shows joint injuries are an 88.42% more expensive than a soft tissue injury or an injury on non-joint areas.
- Which part of the body is injured?
The costliest injury, the report shows, is shoulder injuries at an average of $11,412 per claim with 15.52% claims above $100,000 (58 claims made).
Coming in second, was head injuries with an average of $6,714.88 and 20% of claims exceeding $100,000 (10 claims made)
Third most costly injury is one that includes both upper and lower back, averaging $5,685.07 with 12.5% of claims above $100,000 (40 claims made)
The rest being:
Arm: (23) $5,424.72 with 17.39% claims above $100,000;
Back (lower): (33) $5,186.61 with 21.21% claims above $100,000;
Lower leg: (27) $5,016.09 with 14.81% claims above $100,000;
Back (upper): (25) $4,579.65 with 20.00% claims above $100,000;
Knee: (109) $3,508.08 with 13.76% claims above $100,000;
Elbow: (23) $3,386.65 with 17.39% claims above $100,000; and
Hip: (39) $2,854.20 with 5.13% claims above $100,000.
Another thing to consider from these statistics is the frequency of a type of injury. Knee injuries being the most frequently claimed injury closely followed by back injury if the three categories are combined. This observation may also give employers some insight into where they can make changes to minimise the risk of employees hurting themselves on the job.
How to reduce the risk of injury
Be risk aware and have a focus on Duty of Care. Some of the things you could focus on being on top of are things like consistent cleaning rotations to stay on top of spills or other hazards, maintenance, store floor design, focus on critical areas with a lot of foot traffic and stay aware of the weather, in particular rain, as a potential hazard.
Source: Honan Insurance