- When a retail worker is injured on the job, the resulting leave lasts for an average of 24 days, according to an anlysis of 20,000 workers compensation claims by AmTrust Financial Services, Inc.
- The report identified the most expensive injuries for retail workers: falls or slips from ladders or scaffolding, with an average payout of $21,000; strains or injury by repetitive motion, with an average payout of $14,000; and vehicular collisions, with an average payout of $13,900. The report also found that the most hazardous retail classes to be food, hardware, drivers and automobile parts and accessories, and hair styling establishments.
- "Analyzing three-years of data gave us new insights into why people in retail miss work, what kind of injuries are the worst or most expensive for employers, and how long it takes for an employee to return to work," Matt Zender, AmTrust's senior vice president, Workers' Compensation Strategy, said in a media release. "It reinforced our belief that training — in both operations and safety — is essential in the retail sector, especially for younger workers where we tend to see more workers' compensation claims."
The answer to reducing workplace injuries and managing risk in general appears to be training, according to HR leaders polled in a report from the Risk Institute at the Ohio State University Fisher College of Business. In fact, "ensuring employees are properly trained" in safety precautions topped the list of risk-related priorities for 80% of the respondents.
This is likely a priority for many HR professionals, as the consequences associated with workplace injuries appear serious. A study by researchers at Boston University found a link between workplace injuries and an elevated risk of overdose and suicide. Results released in August showed that an injury grave enough to require at least a week off from work nearly tripled both the risk of suicide and death from overdose among women and raised the risk for men by 50%. The results also showed that men who suffered lost work time due to a past injury were 72% more likely to die by suicide and 29% more likely to die from a drug overdose. The situation was even grimmer for women; those who lost workdays from past injuries were 92% more likely to die by suicide and 193% more likely to die from a drug-related cause.
Unfortunately, a hefty percentage of respondents in the Ohio State survey said that they're not a driving force in their organization's risk-management efforts because they're either overlooked by risk-management teams or have other high-priority HR commitments. HR pros may need to make training a priority — and find a way to have a voice in the risk-management discussion.