According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, around a third of all workers’ compensation claims are filed by employees only on the job for a year or less, with 13% being filed by an employee in their first three months of employment.
You can evaluate the statistics as they relate to your own company’s claims by sorting your employees into two categories – those employed longer than one year and those employed less than a year. Once all your employees have been sorted into the two groups, you can determine the frequency of claims per 100 employees from each group. If a large section of your workforce is aging and working physically demanding jobs, then you might find that your long-term employee group may have more claims. However, most employees will find that it’s their shorter-term employees that have the higher claim frequency.
It’s the lack of experience and training that’s one of the main culprits behind shorter-term employees having a higher claim frequency. The good news is that as they get more work hours under their belt and receive additional classroom and/or on-the-job training, they will gain experience and knowledge about safety hazards and become more safety conscious as they perform their job tasks.
Another factor causing new hires to be more prone to accidents is their personality traits and habits. Some workers might have a personality that leaves them with a tendency to ignore the rules. Other workers might simply believe that they should be left to their own devices if they get their work done on time. There are also certain employees that are prone to using short cuts. Maybe it’s in their nature, or maybe from habit, but either way they do it without regard to the risks involved.
As far as personality factors go, one of the best solutions will be to pre-screen applicants so that you can help avoid hiring someone that doesn’t demonstrate habits and personality traits conducive to your ideal working environment. The two types of pre-screening tests are: Behavioral assessments and personality measures.
Behavioral assessments will ask an applicant extremely direct questions, such as about personal drug use and theft. It’s easy to assume mistakenly that the applicant would just lie and answer the question as it should be answered. However, behavioral assessment questions are so blunt that the applicant is often caught not paying attention and will answer the questions honestly without even thinking about it or realizing they’re admitting to a bad behavior. The behavioral assessment will allow you to know the exact nature of the risk the applicant poses.
Personality tests will examine an applicant’s personal characteristics, attitude, and opinions. The questions are much more indirect than a behavioral assessment. The responses can help you evaluate and rank various job applicants based on the possible risks they pose.
In closing, using both tests together can be a very potent risk control tool. Employers that utilize such pre-screening tests also find that they can save significantly from better avoiding hiring an applicant that’s not very likely to stick with the job, and from potentially reducing their number of Workers Compensation claims.