The Small-Business Owner's Guide to Workers' Compensation Insurance

Chapter 3: Everything You Need to Know about Workers' Comp Claims
Part 4: How to Prevent Workers' Comp Claims

It's no secret that Workers' Compensation Insurance claims cost employers big time. According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance's most recent numbers [PDF] New browser window icon., the average indemnity claim for 2011 was predicted to reach $223,000 (which includes both medical and lost-time costs).

And while some occupational injuries and diseases will inevitably fall outside your realm of control, you can beef up your risk management strategies to prevent as many as you can. Below, we offer some tips on how to make your workplace safer. But first, let's take a look at some of the most high-risk occupations.

$223,000: The predicted medical and lost-time costs associated with Workers' Comp claims.

Small-Business Owners: Do You Know Your Workplace Risks?

Every workplace has its risks, but some are more hazardous than others. Take a look at the occupations that had the most Workers' Comp claims in 2012 (via the Insurance Information Institute New browser window icon.):

  1. Laborers (non-construction) — 60,640 incidents.
  2. Drivers (heavy trucks) — 40,440 incidents.
  3. Nursing assistants — 38,010 incidents.
  4. Production workers — 28,090 incidents.
  5. Drivers (light trucks) — 24,620 incidents.
  6. Retail salespersons — 24,520 incidents.
  7. Maintenance workers (general) — 23,470 incidents.
  8. Janitors and cleaners — 21,970 incidents.
  9. Stock clerks and order fillers — 20,940 incidents.
  10. Registered nurses — 20,930 incidents.

Even if you don't employ one of the above workers, you can still be on the hook for Workers' Compensation claims. After all, the most common occupational injuries can happen to anyone. The Bureau of Labor Statistics' Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities New browser window icon. page reports that of the 2,976,400 non-fatal workplace incidents in 2012…

  • 340,900 involved sprains, strains, or tears.
  • 219,630 involved slips, trips, and falls.
  • 177,580 involved back injuries.

Just because you and your employees work in a relatively safe environment doesn't mean you are without risk. Read on to learn three ways that all small-business owners can reduce the risk of occupational hazards.

Next: Three Tips to Help Business Owners Reduce Workers' Comp Risks

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