Industries with Highest Workers’ Comp Claims
By Insurance Advisor Team
Industries with Highest Workers’ Comp Claims

In the domain of labor and employment, workers’ compensation, designed to provide wage replacement and medical benefits, not only assists workers in the treatment of accidental injuries but also is an indicator of the origins of claims made by workers as crucial data points. These data points help determine workplace safety, health standards, and the inherent risks associated with various industries. Due to their operations, certain industries consistently report more claims than others. The prevalence of claims within certain sectors not only underscores the physical and environmental hazards but also guides policymakers, employers, and workers toward improved safety measures and regulatory frameworks.

In this article, we dive into the claims coming from industries that record the most workers’ compensation losses, highlighting the challenges and potential areas for intervention. We shall attempt to explore these industries in depth, shedding light on the reasons behind the high incidence of claims.

Industries with Highest WC Claims:

1. Healthcare and Social Assistance

Healthcare professionals encounter a unique array of workplace hazards. From exposure to infectious diseases and harmful substances, to physical injuries from lifting and moving patients, to violence from patients or visitors, healthcare workers, including nurses, aides, and technicians, face a myriad of risks that lead to a high rate of workers’ compensation claims. This industry now has the highest number of workers’ compensation claims, overtaking the construction industry. The COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated these risks, highlighting the critical need for comprehensive infectious disease protocols, violence prevention strategies, and ergonomic interventions in healthcare settings.

2. Construction

The construction industry consistently ranks at the top for workers’ compensation claims, attributable to the high-risk nature of construction work. That the healthcare industry overtook this industry, does not merit forgetting how workers are often exposed to falls, machinery accidents, electrocution, and injuries from heavy lifting. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data frequently cites construction occupations among those with the highest rates of injuries and fatalities. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) often cites falls, being struck by objects, electrocutions, and being caught in/between accidents (the “Fatal Four”) as the leading causes of construction worker deaths. The only way this industry has tried to overcome worker incidents is by enhanced safety protocols, rigorous training, and investment in safer equipment. These practices are vital to reducing these risks. The results have been confirmed by The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data that shows a consistent drop in fatal injuries in the last 13 years. Still, the construction industry remains at risk.

3. Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector, with its extensive use of heavy machinery, chemicals, and repetitive motion tasks, also sees many workers’ compensation claims. Injuries often include machine entanglements, exposure to toxic substances, and musculoskeletal disorders. Implementing automated safety solutions, improving equipment safety features, and fostering a culture of safety can mitigate these hazards. Implementing safety measures such as machine guarding, proper personal protective equipment (PPE), and regular safety training can help mitigate these risks.

4. Transportation and Warehousing

The industry’s reliance on physical labor and machinery means that workers are at risk of accidents and injuries. Employees in transportation and warehousing confront a unique set of challenges, including vehicle accidents, lifting injuries, and slips, trips, and falls. Truck drivers are prone to injuries from accidents or from loading and unloading cargo. More importantly, those who work in transportation for heavy industries are at even more increased risk, especially when transporting hazardous materials. Due to such risks, safety protocols for vehicle operation, ergonomic interventions, and proper material handling techniques are vital for reducing the incidence of injuries. Such protocols enhance vehicle safety, enforce proper lifting techniques, and ensure safe warehouse environments. These are crucial measures for reducing injuries in this sector.

5. Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting

Agriculture continues to remain an important part of the economy, where physical labor continues to play a role. Agricultural workers in these industries are exposed to many risks, including machinery accidents, falls, animal-related injuries, and exposure to pesticides and other chemicals. With fishing, forestry and hunting, the seasonal nature of work and the remote locations of many job sites complicate access to emergency medical care. This underscores the importance of preventive measures. For effective implementation of such measures, safety training, proper use of PPE, and emergency preparedness are crucial in this industry. While professions operating outside urban borders must have basic survival training to face harsh weather and animal attacks.

6. Retail

While the retail industry might not seem as risky as construction or manufacturing, it still reports many workers’ compensation claims, mainly due to slips, trips, falls, and lifting injuries within the premises. The high customer foot traffic increases the likelihood of such incidents. Also, in robbery crimes where workers are trying to stop shoplifters, they might face injuries from scuffles with thieves and lawbreakers. With such kind of risks these days, the least a retail setup can do is increase efforts to maintain clean, organized, and safe premises. These activities are a first step in mitigating these risks.

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Strategies for Reducing Workers’ Compensation Claims

Reducing the number of workers’ compensation claims across these industries requires a multifaceted approach. Employers can implement the following strategies:

Site Risk Assessments: Regularly conduct site risk assessments to identify and mitigate workplace hazards.

Safety Training: Invest in comprehensive safety training programs for all employees, emphasizing the correct use of equipment and safe work practices.

Ergonomics: Adapt workstations and tasks to fit the worker, reducing musculoskeletal strains.

Health and Wellness Programs: Promote overall employee well-being through health and wellness programs addressing physical and mental health.

Safety Equipment: Provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and ensure its proper use and maintenance.

Emergency Preparedness: Develop and regularly update emergency response plans, including protocols for handling workplace injuries and illnesses.


The industries with the highest workers’ compensation claims give us a spotlight pointing toward critical areas for safety improvements and preventive measures. By understanding the specific hazards associated with these sectors, employers, workers, and policymakers can collaborate to create safer working environments. While the nature of certain jobs inherently carries more risk, implementing robust safety measures, investing in employee training, and fostering a culture of safety can significantly reduce the number of injuries and illnesses. Ultimately, the goal is to minimize the occurrence of work-related injuries and illnesses, thereby reducing the cost of workers’ compensation claims. This endeavor not only benefits the well-being of employees but also contributes to the economic efficiency and sustainability of industries at large. As technology advances and new safety solutions emerge, there is a hopeful path forward toward reducing the incidence of workers’ compensation claims across all industries.

FAQs for Reduce your Workers Compensation Premium

Workers’ compensation claims can vary across industries, but some sectors commonly associated with higher claim rates include construction, manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, and agriculture. These industries often involve physically demanding work or exposure to hazardous conditions, increasing the risk of workplace injuries.

In industries with elevated workers’ compensation claims, common injuries include strains and sprains, fractures, cuts and lacerations, back injuries, repetitive motion injuries (such as carpal tunnel syndrome), and occupational illnesses due to exposure to hazardous substances or conditions.

Workers’ compensation claims can have significant financial implications for employers, including increased insurance premiums, potential legal costs, expenses associated with hiring and training replacement workers, productivity losses, and damage to the company’s reputation. Employers often strive to minimize these costs through proactive risk management and safety initiatives.

Workers’ compensation laws can vary significantly depending on the industry and jurisdiction. Each state or country may have its own regulations governing workers’ compensation, including coverage requirements, benefit levels, eligibility criteria, and dispute resolution procedures. Employers and employees need to understand the specific laws and regulations applicable to their industry and location.

If an employee is injured on the job in an industry with high workers’ compensation claims, they should promptly report the injury to their employer or supervisor, seek medical attention as necessary, and document the details of the incident. It’s crucial to follow the company’s established procedures for reporting workplace injuries to ensure timely access to medical treatment and the initiation of the workers’ compensation claims process.

Employers can stay informed about changes in workers’ compensation laws and safety regulations by regularly monitoring updates from government agencies, industry associations, legal advisors, and insurance carriers. Participating in professional development opportunities, attending industry conferences, and networking with peers can also provide valuable insights into emerging trends and regulatory developments impacting workplace safety and workers’ compensation.