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California Workers Comp Injury Stats – WCIRB Webinar


California Workers Comp Injury Statistics From WCIRB Webinar

The Workers Comp Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) webinar on April 18th was full of great info on the Golden State.  You can find the slides from the webinar here.  The slides are great California Workers Comp Injury Stats.  Reviewing the slides will be well worth your time. The study covers the pre-pandemic year 2018 through post-pandemic 2022. The study was authored by Julia Zhang, PhD, YiChen Yu, MS, and Lucy Chen, ACAS.

Two of the slides from the presentation are included below.  If you have any dealings with California Workers Comp, the report covers many injury statistics that would be invaluable to claim staff, risk managers, and employers. The slides contain a summary of the study and slides at the beginning.

New Employees Tend To Have More Accidents

Trainees and new employees have historically had Workers Comp injuries at a higher rate.  The old saying that 90% of accidents occur the first time someone uses a tool, machine, etc. becomes very apparent when you look at the below chart.  The one stark California workers comp injury statistic is the level of accident rate = twice as likely to have a claim in the first year of employment.  Training new hires will always pay off in the long run. This chart illustrates it well.

pic California Workers Comp Injury Stats First Year Workers
(c) WCIRB – Oakland, CA

This revelation comes as no surprise.  However, the level of the one-year employee accident rate was much higher than I expected for California.  The infamous accident curve study from many years ago showed what I had noticed in analyzing Workers Comp claim stats.   I have written about this phenomenon often on this website.

Type of California Worker Comp Injury by Tenure

Injuries from strains increased significantly by the length of employment.  The shorter tenure employees tended to not have strain injuries.  As with the above chart, this was not an unexpected statistic.  The share of stain injuries by workers with more than 10 years was almost 45%. This shows a need for safety and risk management to avoid strains of longer-tenured employees.

California Workers Comp Injury Stats by Type of Injury
(c) WCIRB – Oakland, CA

Bottom Line

This study and associated charts are worth your time to review.  While the California workers comp injury statistics may have been expected, the significance of the statistics was surprising.




James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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