Monday, January 29, 2007

Survey: Older Workers Have Fewer Injuries, but Greater Costs per Injury

According to a survye conducted by National Council on Compensation Insurance, Inc. (NCCI), on average, younger workers have higher incidence rates of workplace injuries and illnesses than older workers, while older workers have higher costs per claim. As the leading edge of the baby boomer generation approaches age 60, the aging of the workforce has grown as a topic of interest in workers compensation. However, NCCI's research shows that age may be becoming less of a difference. Specifically, the survey--"Age as a Driver of Frequency and Severity"--found, among other things, that:
  • while age is an important factor in overall claim costs, the significance of age on frequency has diminished;
  • a significant portion of the differences in claim severities between younger and older workers were accounted for by other factors correlated with age—average wages, claim durations, lump-sum payments, injury diagnoses, and number of medical treatments;
  • differences in wages and claim durations accounted for a majority of the difference in indemnity severities between younger and older workers; and
  • the key driver explaining about 70% of the difference in medical severities between younger and older workers is the markedly higher number and different mix of treatments within a diagnosis.
Source: National Council on Compensation Insurance, Inc. News Release (January 25, 2007)

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