IWH study: Why some injuries lead to time off and others don’t: it goes beyond injury severity

The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) released a study with some unexpected findings on why some injuries may become lost time claims. No-lost time claims were compared to lost time claims with similar types and severities of injuries. This identified worker/workplace characteristics that may impact whether a claim becomes a lost time claim.

Notable differences between whether a claim involved lost time were:

  1. Physical workload mattered. This finding supports what one would expect, that it would be harder to work the day after an injury if the work is physically demanding.
  2. Age and time on the job didn’t matter. Though one might expect that workers who are young or new to the job would be less likely to take time off work after an injury, there was no evidence of this in the findings.
  3. Employer size didn’t matter. One might expect large employers to be more likely to report no-lost-time claims on the grounds that they are perhaps more able to accommodate injured workers. However, large employers were not more likely to report no-lost-time claims.
  4. Premium rate mattered. The study compared claims from employers in the top third of rate groups with the highest premiums against those in the bottom third. Employers paying more in premium rates were less likely to have lost-time claims.”

For more information on this study and its findings, see IWH’s website at: Premium rates, work demands play role in whether injuries involve time loss.

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