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Smart hiring practices (and retaining good employees) help protect against Workers’ Compensation claims

March 31, 2015

Adam Winters

Just as all employees are not equal in skill-set or ability to produce, all employees are not equal in terms of their potential to file Workers’ Compensation claims.

An oft-held assumption is that an older workforce is more likely to file excessive worker’s compensation claims. That’s true in certain cases, particularly in the leisure and hospitality sectors, but overall the data shows that it’s not age but tenure that has the greatest impact, and it might surprise you to learn that workers with shorter tenure file more claims. Indeed, one study published in the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine shows that injury reports were four to six times higher for workers during their first month on the job.

Recent research by The Hartford underscored these findings. The carrier discovered that the first year in an employee’s tenure poses the highest risk, with the first month twice as risky as the rest.

Unquestionably, retaining good employees over the long term is a top way to reduce your worker’s claim liability. But whether due to your organization’s growth or employee retirement/moving on, you’ll be hiring. When it’s time to do so, these practices can help you guard against the risk of future worker’s comp claims.

Comprehensive pre-employment screening — Criminal, motor vehicle, and financial background checks can help discover problems before you hire, as can drug screening. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 30% of the population has a criminal record. Take the time to know who you are hiring.

Verify applicant information — According to, more than half of all job applications contain inaccurate information. According to ADP, there are discrepancies in nearly half of employment, education, and reference checks provided by applicants. While some of these may be minor, invest the time and resources required to verify.

Post-employment controls — Once you’ve hired, periodic physical exams and medical assessments and random drug testing can help guard against worker’s compensation and negligence claims against you.

In short, new hires can pose serious risks for your organization, but careful on-boarding and training can help curb potential losses. Be persistent in your efforts. Risk management for work-related injuries is an ongoing process that provides benefits not only to new hires, but all employees and your organization as a whole.

Still have questions?  Give Founders Insurance Group a call – helping people manage their Work Comp claims and process is what we do best!

Adam Winters

Commercial Lines Account Manager


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