Well at Work
Workers' Comp Costs More for Obese Employees, Says Study
Workers’ compensation benefits paid to obese workers are higher than benefits paid to non-obese workers filing similar claims, according to a new analysis by NCCI Holdings Inc. [NCCI.com].
Researchers used statistical analysis to analyze claims from insurance companies in 40 states. They looked at two types of benefit payments: 1) workers claiming temporary total (injury prevents person from working for a limited time), and 2) permanent total (prevents person from ever returning to work). The analysis found that the duration of workers’ comp benefits for obese employees is five times more than for non-obese employees with similar claims. That number increased to six times more when you include permanent partial indemnity payments—that is, payments to people with permanent damage that only partially impairs their ability to work.
This analysis supports previous research from Duke University that found that the number of lost workdays per claim for morbidly obese workers was 6.4 times more than claimants at a normal weight.
“On-the-job injury results in significant productivity losses for employers, and heavier workforces can lead to heavier losses,” says John Golden, president of Core Performance. “We’ve recognized that on-the-job injury is more prevalent in certain work environments like warehouses, so we’ve created wellness programming tailored to meet the job demands of these workers to reduce potential for injury, improve health and performance, and reduce the number of lost workdays due to sickness or injury.”