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During the past decade, claims by first-year employees have increased, according to Selective Insurance.

Based on an analysis of more than 110,000 workers’ comp claims filed with Selective from injuries that occurred between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2021. (Credit: Selective Insurance Group)

In the past 10 years, workers have reported employment-related injuries earlier in their tenures, while workers’ comp claims by first-year employees also increased during the period, according to a study by Selective Insurance Group, Inc.

In 2021, employees reported injuries 18% earlier than workers did in 2011, according to Selected Insurance, which noted this could indicate a need to reevaluate safety training.

“Our long- and short-term data about employees’ tenure at the time of workplace injury demonstrates the importance of ongoing and effective employee training and safety management across all industries,” Paul Kush, executive vice president, chief claims officer at Selective Insurance, said in a release. “With labor shortages and the challenging hiring environment, tenured employees may be taking on additional responsibilities which is why workplace injury prevention strategies to help employees stay safe should be top-of-mind for businesses.”

Additionally, 38% of 2021’s workers’ comp claims were filed by first-year employees, compared with 32% of first-year employees filing claims in 2011, Selective Insurance found.

Retail and professional services along with manufacturing and wholesalers were the two sectors that saw the most workers’ comp claims filed by employees still in their first year.

Concerning construction, the rate of claims filed by first-year employees was unchanged during the past decade with new workers accounting for around 40% of annual workers’ comp claims.

“The incidence of first-year employee injuries at many types of companies reveals that no business or entity is immune from the need for a safety orientation process for people new to their job.  To minimize risks, all employers must ensure new employees receive orientation on workplace risk management including safety hazards, emergency response plans, and safe driving expectations if company vehicles are operated,” Scott Smith, vice president, director of safety management for Selective Insurance, said in a release.