Workers’ Compensation Statistics in the United States

Personal injury blog

workers comp statistics

September 25, 2019 | Personal Injury, workers comp

An intro to workers’ compensation

Put simply, workers’ compensation is when an employee receives compensation after suffering from a work-related illness or injury.

The types of benefits employees may receive varies depending on the state in which they work.

Workers’ compensation in Missouri, for instance, requires employers/companies to provide the following benefits:

  • Medical treatment
  • Payment for time off/payment for lost wages
  • Permanent Partial Disability compensation
  • Permanent Total Disability compensation

The following statistics have been compiled by the Social Security Administration, the Insurance Information Institute, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Important workers’ compensation statistics

The 10 industries with the most work-related injuries and illnesses:

  1. Nonconstruction laborers
  2. Semi-truck drivers (truck accident injuries)
  3. Maintenance employees/janitors
  4. Nurses assistants
  5. General repair workers
  6. Retail employees/salespeople
  7. Registered nurses
  8. Stocking clerks
  9. Construction workers
  10. Delivery drivers

Highest average workers’ compensation payouts by injury

According to the National Safety Council, these types of injuries have the highest average cost to employers (costs are average costs from 2016-2017):

  1. Motor vehicle injuries ($78,000+)
  2. Fire and burn injuries ($48,000+)
  3. Slip and fall injuries ($46,000+)

Highest average workers’ compensation payouts by nature of the injury

The list below details the nature of injuries that had the highest average costs in 2016-2017:

  1. Amputations ($98,000+)
  2. Fractures and dislocations ($58,000+)
  3. Burn injuries ($48,000)
  4. Infections ($38,000+)
  5. Disease ($35,000+)

Additional workers’ compensation statistics

  • In 2015, American employers paid out $61.9 billion in workers’ compensation benefits
  • That number is nearly split down the middle between medical benefits ($31.1 billion) and wage loss compensation ($30.7 billion)
  • Employers were only responsible to pay around $1.30 out of every $100 paid for workers’ comp (workers’ compensation insurance paid the rest)
  • In 2017, 5,147 employees died due to work-related injuries or illnesses (down slightly from 2016: 5,190 deaths)
  • Fishing and hunting was the industry with the most fatal injuries  per 100,000 in 2017 (99.8 per 100,000 employees)
  • Logging workers had the second most work-related fatalities (84.3 per 100,000 employees)
  • The construction industry had the most overall deaths in 2017 (971 deaths)
  • Transportation and warehousing had the second most work-related deaths in 2017  (882)
  • The average total workers’ compensation payout in 2016-2017 was $40,051
  • 139,151 people have died from work-related injuries and illnesses between 1992 and 2016
  • Nonfatal injuries caused 1.5 million employees to miss at least one day of work in 2016
  • The highest amount of fatal work-related deaths were employees between the ages of  45-54 (1,145 deaths) and ages 55-64 (1,160 deaths)
  • Foreign-born workers have accounted for an average of 18% of annual work-related deaths
  • Texas had the highest number of work-related fatalities in 2016 (545 deaths) followed by California (376 deaths) and Florida (309 deaths)

Looking for a Workers’ Comp Attorney?

Craig Orwerth is an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in St. Louis. Feel free to get in touch for more information regarding workers’ compensation and your case.