Safety and wellness brief
Minimize your risks and decrease potential losses based on learnings from our Workers Compensation Safety Council participants, The Hartford, and CUNA Mutual Group.
- The average total incurred workers compensation claim was $3,762 in the first half of 2022 with 12% of claims going over $10,000.1
- 49% of the total incurred loss dollars from 2017 through June 2022 are related to slips & falls.1
- 15.6% of all workers compensation claims and 84.9% of total incurred dollars (2017-6/2022) have resulted in lost time from work.1
Key risk insights
Fall out of chair
A front-line employee was getting into a bar-height chair when it rolled out from under them before they could get seated causing them to fall and strike the back of their head. There were no confirmed defects with the chair, it had simply moved while trying to sit which caused the fall. Due to the head strike, emergency services were needed and several diagnostics were completed. There was some lost time, but no beyond the state waiting period so indemnity benefits were not issued. Most issues were resolved over the next month, but there were continued complaints of dizziness. The employee was referred to specialists and symptoms were consistent with where the head strike occurred, but no other treatment was recommended as it should resolve with time. Medical treatment was concluded and the claim was resolved. Total incurred loss: $60,000
Trip/fall in parking lot
A manager was in the parking lot to check the lockbox when they fell. It was unclear as to what caused the fall as it was dry and warm with no foreseen defects in the area of the fall. Several injuries were noted with the most significant being a sprained lower leg and a multiple fracture injury to the upper arm which resulted in surgical repair.
The employee was placed off work post-surgery to focus on therapy. The employee was then released to light-duty and the employer was very accommodating to get them back into the office. The employee healed from injuries and was released from care. Total incurred loss: $48,000
For more loss scenarios involving credit union employees, check out this credit union loss scenarios resource.
Focus on the walk
Whether it’s walking inside the office, taking a short stroll outside during a break, or getting from one meeting to another, we’re on the move at least part of the day. Distracted walking is one leading reason for workplace injuries that cause days away from work.
Minimize injury risks when walking by:
- stepping to the side and out of the way of others if you need to read something while on the go.
- watching where you’re going — having an intense conversation on the phone or with another person next to you can be distracting.
- being on the lookout for changes in elevation — even uneven surfaces and ones like cracks or holes in flooring.
- not rushing, especially in higher-traffic areas and around corners.
- keeping your line of vision clear — don’t let items that you're carrying block your view.
- using hand railings on stairs.
- wearing appropriate office footwear and not wearing sunglasses in low-light areas.
Be a safety lookout!
You can’t force employees to pay attention — but you can help them understand how their states affect their safety. And you can empower them to take personal responsibility by giving them the skills, awareness, and habits they need.
Many slips, trips, and falls are caused or made worse by an employee’s state of mind. We tend to make errors and decisions that increase the chance of injury when we’re:
Encourage employees to frequently take time to stop, look and see the hazards around your office and branch locations. These hazards may not always be obvious or immediate concerns, but they can still pose a risk for employees. In fact, spotting small hazards can make a big difference.
They said it
"Rely on your staff to help find solutions to workplace safety issues. When you ask your employees directly, it can help open your eyes to problems you were blind to."
Senior Risk Consultant
CUNA Mutual Group
"Workplace injuries, illnesses, and hazards can be costly. Besides the financial costs, there are potential legal and moral issues that might arise if employee safety and health are not considered."
Brian Walker, CSP, ARM
Sr. Risk Engineering Consultant
Resources you can use...
Review these resources to enhance your focus on emerging risks related to workplace/employee safety. Slip, trip, & fall prevention overview2
For additional employee safety, wellness, or workers compensation tools and resources, check out the Workplace Safety/Wellness page within the Protection Resource Center or policyholders of The Hartford can also access thehartford.com/risk-engineering (policy number required).