Shifting Injury Trends by Industry


Transportation and warehousing

At the National Council on Compensation Insurance’s (NCCI) annual symposium, it was reported that Most industries show consistent and steady declines in claim frequency. However, claim frequency increased in the transportation and warehousing sector from 2019- 2022. The couriers and messengers subsector (local delivery drivers) is driving this increase, caused mostly by smaller severity claims.” This is correlated with unprecedented employment growth since 2019. Ankle/foot injuries topped the list with an average annual frequency increase of 37 percent.

A 2023 in-depth study in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, (, “Examining Injury Trends in Parcel Delivery Drivers in the United States: Challenges and Opportunities” found most injuries happened while performing delivery or maintenance-related duties, rather than driving. Some of the increased injury propensity stems from the diversity and unpredictability of hazards and repetitive strains encountered by delivery personnel.

Given the wide variety of risk factors, including location, weather, job nature, turnover, route, schedule, and workload, solutions can seem elusive. However, understanding how hazards, injuries, and even fatalities occur is critical to devising solutions. Companies can exercise control with their procedures, scheduling that minimizes fatigue and pressure to rush, diligent equipment maintenance and upkeep, maintaining hiring standards, proper training, including ergonomics when handling heavy packages or lifting items, and use of safety technology, including wearables.

Retail trade

In retail, frequency of injuries is not consistently declining as it is in most industries, but unlike in transportation, employment is stagnant. NCCI postulates since quits have been higher, the flatter frequency trend may be attributed to losing the “best” employees or the job risk may be changing. Injuries are commonly related to strains. Other studies have highlighted claims related to violent incidents, including physical and psychological injuries.

Companies with unfavorable claim trends should work with their agents to identify if job composition is changing and develop targeted strategies to mitigate risks. While the turnover rate in retail is traditionally high, the NCCI data suggest what the industry has faced over the last few years goes beyond normal retail attrition. Take the time to assess your pay structure, benefits, opportunities for advancement, training, manager effectiveness, flexible work hours, and the safety environment. Exit interviews of valued employees can help identify what areas need improvement.

For the NCCI report.


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