Tackling the High Risk of Workplace Injuries Among New Hires

While every employee is susceptible to workplace injuries, new employees, particularly those on the frontline, face a significantly higher risk. Recent research reveals concerning statistics that highlight the vulnerability of new employees in various sectors.

New Employees at High Risk

The 2023 Travelers Injury Impact Report shed light on the susceptibility of new employees to workplace injuries, irrespective of their prior industry experience. The report revealed a staggering 34% of all workplace injuries occurred during an employee’s first year on the job. These injuries resulted in nearly 7 million missed workdays, illustrating the substantial impact on both employees and businesses.

Furthermore, first-year injuries accounted for one-third (34%) of all workers’ compensation costs. This significant financial burden emphasizes the urgency for employers to prioritize safety measures and reduce the occurrence of injuries among new employees. By proactively addressing this issue, businesses can mitigate the financial strain caused by workers’ compensation claims and ultimately create a safer work environment for all.

Industries Most Affected by First-Year Injuries

Traverlers’ research data also highlights the industries most affected by first-year injuries. The following sectors experienced the highest rates of workplace injuries among new employees:

These findings underscore the urgent need for tailored workplace safety programs and effective preventive measures within these industries. Employers must prioritize the safety and well-being of new employees in these and other high-risk sectors.

Key New Hire Concerns

When it comes to workplace safety, new employees face specific concerns that heighten their risk of injuries. Whether due to lack of experience, inadequate training, or unfamiliarity with the work environment, these factors can significantly impact their well-being. 

Below are a few key concerns surrounding workplace injuries for new employees. By understanding these factors, employers can implement targeted measures to mitigate risks and create a safer environment for their newest team members.

  • Lack of Experience: New employees often lack experience and familiarity with the job tasks, equipment, and safety protocols. This can increase the likelihood of accidents and injuries due to a lack of knowledge or skill in handling work-related tasks.
  • Insufficient Training: Inadequate or rushed training programs for new employees can leave them ill-prepared to handle potential workplace hazards. Without comprehensive training on safety procedures, proper equipment usage, and emergency protocols, new hires may be at a higher risk of injuries.
  • Unfamiliarity with Workplace Environment: New employees may be unfamiliar with the layout, machinery, or potential hazards within the workplace. This lack of familiarity can increase the chances of accidents, such as slips and trips, or collisions with objects or machinery.
  • Physical Demands and Ergonomics: Certain industries, like manufacturing or warehousing, involve physically demanding tasks. New employees who are not accustomed to these demands may be at a higher risk of overexertion, strains, sprains, or other musculoskeletal injuries. Poor ergonomics, such as improper lifting techniques or poorly designed workstations, can exacerbate the risk.
  • Inadequate Supervision and Guidance: New employees often require close supervision and guidance to ensure they understand and follow safety protocols. In the absence of proper supervision, they may inadvertently engage in risky behavior or fail to recognize potential hazards.
  • Workplace Culture and Peer Pressure: New employees may face pressure to fit in or prove themselves in their new work environment. This pressure can lead to a disregard for safety procedures or taking unnecessary risks to demonstrate their abilities, increasing the likelihood of injuries.

These concerns highlight the importance of targeted training, effective supervision, and creating a safety-conscious work culture to protect new employees from workplace injuries. 

Preventing Injuries Among New Employees

Understanding the vulnerability of new employees is of utmost importance. Armed with this knowledge, workers’ comp insurance agents can work closely with their clients to develop customized risk management and insurance plans that adequately cover the specific risks associated with new hires. 

To address the issue of workplace injuries among new employees effectively, employers should implement the following preventive measures:

  • Comprehensive Onboarding: Develop a thorough onboarding program that focuses on safety training and familiarizes new employees with potential hazards and best practices within their specific roles.
  • Mentorship and Supervision: Pair new employees with experienced mentors or supervisors who can provide guidance, oversight, and ongoing training to ensure adherence to safety protocols.
  • Ongoing Training and Safety Tech: Implement regular training sessions and deploy safety technology to reinforce safety procedures, promote awareness, and update employees on the latest industry regulations.
  • Safety Culture: Foster a culture of safety by encouraging employees at all levels to actively participate in identifying and reporting potential hazards. Regular safety meetings and open communication channels can help instill a collective commitment to maintaining a safe work environment.


The statistics regarding workplace injuries among new employees, as highlighted in the Travelers Injury Impact Report, emphasize the urgent need for employers to prioritize the safety and well-being of their frontline workers. By understanding the risks and implementing targeted preventive measures, employers can create a safe and productive work environment. Ultimately, prioritizing the safety of new employees not only protects the workforce but also ensures the long-term success and sustainability of businesses across industries.

How Workers’ Compensation Claims Affect Premiums

When it comes to workers’ compensation claims, employers often wonder about their effect on their insurance premiums, and more importantly, how they can mitigate the impact. Understanding the relationship between claims and premiums is crucial for employers seeking to manage their insurance costs effectively.

Understanding the Impact

Workers’ comp premiums are calculated based on several factors, including the type of business, the number of employees, the industry’s risk level, and the employer’s claims history. The goal is to estimate the potential risk associated with insuring a specific business and determine an appropriate premium that covers those risks.

The frequency and severity of workers’ comp claims can directly influence premiums. Frequent claims or a history of severe claims can raise concerns about workplace safety practices, leading to higher premiums. On the other hand, a favorable claims history can result in lower premiums, as it demonstrates a commitment to employee safety and effective risk management.

Here are a few key factors to consider regarding how claims impact premiums:

Experience Modification Factor: Experience modification factor, or ex-mod, compares a company’s actual claims experience to the expected claims experience for similar businesses. If a company’s claims experience is worse than average, the ex-mod will be greater than 1, resulting in higher premiums. Conversely, a better-than-average claims experience can lead to a lower score and reduced premiums.

Frequency and Severity of Claims: Frequent claims suggest ongoing safety issues or inadequate preventive measures. Similarly, severe claims may indicate hazardous working conditions or a lack of proper safety protocols. If a company consistently experiences high numbers of claims or costly claims, it can result in higher premiums.

Industry Risk Profile: Each industry has its own inherent risks, and insurance providers consider this when calculating premiums. Some industries, such as construction or manufacturing, have higher rates of work-related injuries due to the nature of their operations. The potential for claims for businesses that operate in high-risk industries may already be factored into the premium.

Mitigating the Impact of Claims

While workers’ comp claims can affect premium costs, there are steps employers can take to mitigate the impact:

Focus on Safety 

Implementing workplace safety plans and training programs should be a top priority for every employer. A safe work environment not only protects employees but also reduces the likelihood of workplace accidents and injuries. This proactive approach to safety can have a significant impact on direct and indirect workers’ compensation costs.

Comprehensive workplace safety plans involve identifying and addressing potential hazards, implementing safety protocols, and regularly maintaining and inspecting equipment. By conducting thorough risk assessments, employers can identify areas that require attention and take appropriate measures to mitigate risks. Additionally, safety technology and employee training programs can increase awareness of potential hazards.

Creating a culture of safety makes employees more likely to follow safety protocols and remain vigilant. This reduces the occurrence of workplace accidents and injuries, leading to a decrease in workers’ comp claims. Insurance providers take note of companies with strong safety records, which can positively impact claims history and result in more favorable premium rates.

Prompt Claims Management

By effectively managing claims, employers demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being and can help control costs, ultimately positively influencing their claims history and premium rates. This involves promptly reporting and investigating workplace incidents, accurately documenting injuries, and providing timely medical care to injured employees.

By establishing a clear and streamlined process for reporting claims, employers can ensure incidents are reported quickly. Timely reporting allows for immediate action to be taken, such as providing medical attention and initiating the claims process. Investigating claims promptly helps gather necessary information, determine the cause of the incident, and identify any corrective measures that need to be implemented to prevent similar incidents in the future.

When injured employees receive prompt and appropriate medical care, the severity of their injuries can potentially be minimized. This, in turn, can reduce the overall costs associated with the claim, including medical treatment expenses and disability benefits. 

Return-to-Work Programs

Implementing structured return-to-work programs can be highly beneficial for both injured employees and employers. These programs aim to facilitate the smooth transition of employees back to work following an injury or illness. By offering modified duties or transitional work arrangements, employers can help injured workers return to productivity sooner.

Return-to-work programs typically involve assessing the capabilities and restrictions of injured employees and identifying suitable tasks they can perform while they continue to recover. These modified duties may involve lighter physical demands, reduced hours, or alternative responsibilities that align with the employee’s abilities.

By getting injured employees back to work as soon as they are medically able, employers can reduce the duration of lost wages. This can have a positive impact on claims history and, subsequently, premiums. Additionally, returning employees to work fosters their sense of belonging and helps maintain productivity levels within the organization.


Workers’ compensation claims can have a significant impact on insurance premiums. Frequent or severe claims can result in higher premiums due to increased perceived risks associated with insuring a business. However, by prioritizing workplace safety, efficiently managing claims, and implementing return-to-work programs, employers can minimize the impact of claims on premiums. Ultimately, fostering a safe work environment and reducing the occurrence of workplace injuries benefits both employees and employers.

How Wearable Tech Data Makes You a Better Risk Management Partner

In the era of data-driven decision making, wearable technology presents a tremendous opportunity for workers’ compensation agents and brokers to enhance their role as risk management partners. Wearable safety tech provides employers and agents with data and insights into how workers behave on the job and the risks they face. 

This valuable information enables you to uncover the driving factors of workplace injuries and deliver targeted loss control services tailored to clients’ specific needs. 

Gain Insights into Areas of Need

Wearable devices, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers, have gained popularity in recent years. Similar to how these consumer wearables help individuals monitor their health and fitness, workplace wearables generate a wealth of data on work-related movements. By tapping into this data, you can identify specific areas within a client’s workforce that require attention. 

By analyzing trends and patterns you can pinpoint potential hazards, high-risk activities, and ergonomic issues that may lead to work-related injuries. For example, insights gained from an ergonomic wearable safety device might include:

  • a spike in high-risk movements occurring during a certain time of day 
  • a team performing more risky movements than the general workforce 
  • a specific job function recording above-average high-risk movements

Armed with this knowledge, you can work collaboratively with clients to develop targeted loss control programs that focus on mitigating risks in these identified areas of need.

Customize Loss Control Services

Instead of relying solely on general industry standards, you can leverage data gathered by wearables to create customized risk management solutions that align with the unique needs of each client. Targeted services and action plans can help reduce work-related injury rates and costs, leading to a safer and more productive workplace.

Specific guidance, training, and intervention strategies to address the risks associated with the client’s workforce might include:

  • safety training or evaluations for employees with a high level of risky movements 
  • changes in the setup of a workstation 
  • introducing new equipment

Preventative actions such as these transform risk management from a reactive to a proactive process.

Provide Proactive Risk Mitigation

Traditionally, workers’ comp agents and brokers have focused on reactive measures, such as claims management and compensation. However, with wearable tech data, you can adopt a more proactive approach to risk mitigation. 

By monitoring real-time data from wearable devices, you can identify potential hazards and intervene before injuries occur. For example, if a segment of a workforce is performing an above-average number of high-risk movements you can promptly identify and address the underlying factors contributing to this increased risk among these employees, potentially preventing an injury from happening.

The results of proactive risk management are substantial and include:

  • reduced injuries
  • lowered losses 
  • increased premium savings

Be a Trusted Advisor

By incorporating wearable tech data into your risk management strategies, you can become an indispensable partner for your clients. With a deep understanding of your clients’ specific needs and risks, you can establish yourself as a trusted advisor who provides tailored solutions that improve workplace safety, employee well-being, and the bottom line. 

This level of collaboration and expertise builds stronger client relationships and sets you apart in a competitive marketplace. As the industry continues to evolve, harnessing the power of data will be key to staying ahead and thriving as a workers’ comp agent or broker.

The Kinetic wearable safety platform is proven to reduce workplace injuries by 50-60% and lost work days by 72%. Provided to workers’ comp policyholders at no extra cost, the Kinetic Reflex detects high-risk behaviors and provides data-driven insights to help protect workers and enhance the bottom line. 

Contact us to learn more about how wearable tech data can empower your role as a risk management partner!

Risk Management Pays: Workers’ Comp Dividend Plans 101

Workers’ compensation insurance provides crucial protection for businesses and employees, covering salary, medical expenses, and legal fees in the event of workplace injuries. However, employers can further enhance their coverage through dividend plans, which allow policyholders to receive a percentage of their premium payments back at the end of the policy period.

Understanding Workers’ Comp Dividends

When choosing a workers’ compensation policy, many employers consider dividend plans as a way to save on premium costs. Like other workers’ comp policies, dividend plans cover medical expenses and lost wages to injured workers. However, with a dividend plan, qualifying employers can share in the profitability of the policy with the insurance company. 

While premium rates are based on future trends, dividends are calculated using past performance. Essentially, they reward employers who maintain low loss ratios and have fewer claims.

Types of Dividend Plans

The two most common types of workers’ compensation dividend plans are flat and sliding scale;   combination plans may also be available.


Under a flat dividend plan, eligible policyholders receive a specified percentage of their premium for the policy period, regardless of their loss experience. The typical amount is 5% or 10% of the premium. While poor loss experience won’t impact their dividend that period, it may disqualify them from enrolling in the plan for the next policy year.


With a sliding-scale dividend plan, the amount of the dividend depends on the policyholder’s loss ratio. A lower loss ratio at the expiration date means a higher dividend payment, providing greater incentives for safety and risk management.


Less common combination plans incorporate elements of both flat and sliding scale plans. They may offer varying dividend percentages based on different premium thresholds, while also specifying a maximum loss ratio. If the loss ratio exceeds the maximum, no dividend is paid

Benefits for Employers:

Participating employers can garner several advantages through workers’ comp dividend plans

  • Premium Savings: Employers save on premium costs for each claim dollar avoided, reducing their overall expenses for workers’ comp coverage.
  • Safety Promotion: Dividend plans create a financial incentive for employers to prioritize safety in the workplace, leading to improved risk management practices and reduced injuries.
  • No Penalty for Claims: Dividends can only reduce the policy price, ensuring that employers face no penalties for excessive or large claims, apart from not qualifying for the dividend.
  • Significant Returns: Depending on the individual company’s policy, dividends can range from 10% up to 40%, representing a substantial financial benefit for employers.

Considerations and Limitations

Employers should keep the following points in mind when considering workers’ compensation dividend plans:

  • Carrier Availability: Not all insurance companies offer dividend plans. Employers should research and select a carrier that provides this option before committing to coverage.
  • Non-Guaranteed Dividends: Insurers cannot guarantee the payment of dividends. The decision to pay or withhold a dividend rests with the insurer’s board of directors and may be influenced by the company’s financial performance.

Although dividends are not guaranteed, these plans can incentivize business owners to implement workplace safety programs that mitigate the costs and risks associated with work-related injuries.

The Kinetic Dividend Program 

Employers that choose a dividend plan and remain committed to promoting safety in the workplace can reduce their workers’ compensation costs and enjoy financial returns at the end of each policy period. Kinetic’s dividend program enables policyholders to recover up to 26% of their policy’s premium based on annual incurred losses. 

And to help employers maximize their dividend return, Kinetic provides policyholders with free wearable technology proven to reduce sprain and strain injuries by over 50%.

Who’s Eligible? 

Any Kinetic workers’ comp policyholder can access the dividend plan by meeting the following conditions:

  • Policyholder agrees to deploy Kinetic’s injury-reducing wearable technology to some percentage of at-risk employees within four weeks of the policy effective date
  • Policy premium meets the annual minimum threshold of $100,000, not including taxes and fees
  • The incurred loss ratio at the time of the snapshot(s) is less than 40%

When Does the Program Payout?

Kinetic’s dividend pays out in two parts:

6 Months After Expiration

  • The account has no open claims: 100% payout
  • The account has outstanding open claims: 50% payout based on current loss ratio and premium range

18 Months After Expiration

  • Unchanged loss ratio: 50% balance payout based on current claims
  • Improved loss ratio: Revised payout applying the new loss ratio
  • Degraded loss ratio beyond eligible range: No additional payout

How Much is the Dividend Worth?

The total policy value and the cost of the claims during the policy period determine the exact value of the Kinetic dividend.

Example Scenario One

In many cases, if the insured simply maintains their historical losses, they will receive a dividend from a Kinetic policy. Take, for example, the insured “ACME Corp” modeled below with a $300,000 premium and $60,000 in losses the previous year. If they make no changes and maintain the same level of losses, they will be eligible for $33,000.

Example Scenario Two

Not only will Kinetic’s dividend program reward companies with strong safety processes, Kinetic provides technology to keep employees safer and reduce the total number of injuries. Take, again, the example of “ACME Corp.” If instead of assuming consistent loss performance, we assume improvements in line with Kinetic’s demonstrated averages, we see that ACME Corp will now receive $48,000 in dividends.

Contact us today to learn more about the Kinetic Insurance Workers’ Compensation Dividend Plan.

Safe Lifting Checklist: Protecting Workers from Back Injuries

Your role as a risk management partner is crucial in helping your clients protect their employees and their bottom line. One area of concern, especially with frontline employers, is the risk associated with improper lifting techniques. Back injuries resulting from lifting tasks can cause businesses to experience significant costs and productivity losses

More than one million workers suffer back injuries each year, and back injuries account for one of every five workplace injuries or illnesses. – Bureau of Labor Statistics 

The average cost of a worker’s comp back injury claim is between $40,000 and $80,000 per employer. – Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Understanding the Risks

On-the-job lifting and materials handling, whether it’s a core part of the job or an occasional task, pose inherent risks. Workers often suffer injuries when they don’t perform these tasks safely and properly. Back strain caused by overstretching muscles is the most common type of injury resulting from improper lifting. However, more severe injuries like damaged or herniated disks can also occur. 

By implementing safe lifting techniques, the likelihood of these injuries can be significantly reduced.

Safe Lifting Tips

Encourage your clients to implement safe lifting techniques to help minimize the risk of back injuries among their frontline workforce. Here’s a safe lifting checklist employers can share with workers to help prevent injury.

  • Size up the load: Before attempting to lift an object, assess its weight and size. If it’s too heavy or bulky to handle alone, ask for assistance. Collaboration reduces the risk of injury.
  • Inspect your path: Examine the path you’ll be taking while carrying the load. Remove any obstacles or potential hazards that could impede your movement. 
  • Face the object: Place your feet so your toes and hips face the object you’re lifting to avoid twisting.
  • Get as close as possible: Take a wide stance as close to, or over, the object to avoid overreaching and reduce the strain on your back.
  • Bend at the knees: When preparing to lift, squat down by bending your knees, not at your waist. When you bend at the waist, the pressure on your back is 10 times the actual weight of the load! As you bend your knees, look straight ahead to keep your shoulders back and your spine appropriately arched.
  • Engage your leg muscles: Your leg muscles are stronger and more durable than your back muscles. Push through your heels to generate the lifting force, keeping your back straight as you rise. 
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor: When you squat next to a heavy object and your heels come off the floor, you risk tipping over and putting more stress on your knees.
  • Carry the load close: Carry the load as close to your body as possible, preferably near your waist. This improves stability and reduces strain on your back.
  • Move your feet when changing directions: When changing direction while carrying a load, avoid twisting your upper body. Instead, pivot using your feet and take small steps. 
  • Reposition for overhead lifts: When lifting overhead set the object on a table or shelf and reposition it so your arms are doing the lifting. Use a ladder or step stool when possible.
  • Maintain posture when setting objects back down: When you put the object down, take a wide stance, keep your feet flat on the ground, and bend your knees as you lower the object. You can go down to one knee to help “bridge” the weight as you set the object down.

How Wearables Support Safe Lifting

Wearable technology can automatically recognize high-risk movements commonly performed during on-the-job lifting, and provide employees with continuous coaching to change their behavior. By alerting employees whenever an unsafe posture is performed, wearables help create new habits and prevent costly workplace back injuries.

Furthermore, data from wearable tech can help employers identify opportunities to reduce these unavoidable high-risk postures by changing the setup of a workstation or using new equipment.


Empower your clients with the knowledge they need to create a safer work environment and achieve long-term success. Educate employers about the importance of safe lifting techniques and overall back injury prevention, and share the opportunity to deploy free wearable safety tech with their workers’ comp policy. 

By providing employees with these safe lifting techniques and tools, businesses will significantly reduce the likelihood of costly back injuries and improve their workforce’s overall well-being and productivity. 

Kinetic Insurance offers policyholders free wearable safety technology and specialized loss control services in partnership with Nationwide to reduce workplace injury rates and related costs.

Learn more about Kinetic’s proven wearable tech program and how it can impact a company’s productivity and bottom line at https://kinetic-insurance.com/.

Hot Weather Workplace Safety Tips

Last year was an unprecedented year for extreme heat events. And climate conditions threaten more extreme heat in 2023.

As temperatures rise, so do workplace safety risks. A worker can experience heat stress when they’re exposed to extreme heat for too long and are unable to cool down. Heat stress leads to heat-related injuries and illnesses including heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke – a medical emergency. If untreated, heat stress can even lead to death. 

  • An estimated 31,560 work-related heat injuries and illnesses involving days away from work occurred from 2011-2019 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Heat was the second leading cause of weather-related death in 2021 (National Safety Council)

Hot weather workplace safety is an important aspect of occupational health and safety that employers must consider to provide a safe, healthy, hazard-free workplace for their workers.

Who’s at risk?

Research shows outdoor workers in the US have up to 35 times more risk of dying from heat exposure than the general population. And according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, agricultural and construction workers are at the highest risk of heat-related injury and illness. 

Heat stress, however, can impact all workers exposed to heat. Indoor workers are also at risk in environments without adequate climate control, which is often the case in factories and warehouses.

How to minimize the risk of heat stress

While OSHA has begun to develop new heat-specific safety standards for indoor and outdoor workers, employers can immediately mitigate the risk of heat stress and illness by reducing exposure to heat hazards and implementing heat safety guidelines. 

Here are some top hot weather workplace safety tips for employers:

Implement Safe Work Practices

When it comes to working in hot weather, implementing safe work practices is crucial to ensure the well-being and productivity of employees. Here are some measures for employers to consider:

  • Adequate Hydration: Workers should be provided with water and encouraged to drink it regularly. Make sure additional water sources are available, and consider offering hydrating snacks and drinks like popsicles, sports drinks, and fruits.
  • Rest Breaks: It’s essential to allow workers to take regular breaks to rest and cool down, especially if they’re exposed to outdoor conditions. Encourage them to take rest breaks in shaded areas to help them cool down and recover.
  • Shade and Cooling Measures: Provide additional shade options such as tents or canopies to protect workers from direct sunlight. Consider investing in cooling equipment and clothing, such as hard hat cooling inserts and evaporative cooling vests, to help regulate body temperature. Large fans can be utilized to improve air circulation and create a more comfortable working environment. 
  • Heat Acclimatization Program: Acclimating workers to high heat conditions is crucial. Gradually increase worker exposure to heat over a seven- to 14-day period to help build tolerance and reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses. 
  • Adapt Work Activities: Schedule work earlier or later in the day when temperatures are cooler, implement work/rest schedules, and explore job rotation to minimize prolonged exposure to heat.

Develop Safety and Emergency Response Plans

Comprehensive safety and emergency response plans can proactively address heat-related risks in the workplace. Here are some important considerations for employers:

  • Written Safety Plan: Outline specific measures and protocols to address heat-related safety concerns. Include preventative measures, emergency response procedures, and guidelines for mitigating heat-related risks. 
  • Supervisor Training: Supervisors play a crucial role in implementing and enforcing safety measures, conducting safety briefs, and effectively managing emergency response protocols. Provide them with comprehensive training on safety planning, specifically focusing on heat safety. 
  • Additional Safety Briefings: Conduct additional safety briefings specifically related to heat illness prevention. They should highlight the importance of staying hydrated, taking regular breaks, and recognizing the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses. 
  • Heat Illness Prevention Team: Establish a dedicated team responsible for reporting, monitoring, and managing heat-related issues. Include individuals trained in identifying early signs of heat-related illnesses and taking appropriate actions to address them. 
  • Emergency Response Protocols: Develop clear and actionable emergency response protocols specifically tailored to heat-related emergencies. Include measures for providing immediate medical attention, contacting emergency services, and evacuating the affected area if necessary.

Train Employees on Hot Weather Safety

Thorough training on hot weather safety will give employees a better understanding of how their bodies respond to heat and the potential risks they face. Here are key points to cover:

  • Body’s Response to Heat: As temperatures rise, the body’s ability to release heat becomes slower. This can lead to an increase in body temperature, placing additional stress on the body’s cooling mechanisms.
  • Impact of Humidity and Stagnant Air: As humidity increases, sweat evaporation decreases, making it more challenging for the body to regulate its temperature. Similarly, stagnant air hinders air circulation, making sweat evaporation even more difficult. 
  • Mental and Physical Impairment: Even a slight increase in body temperature can significantly impact mental functioning. A 2°F increase can affect concentration, coordination, and decision-making abilities, while a 5°F increase can lead to severe illness or even death. 

Monitor Weather & Employees

Employers can take proactive measures to prevent dangerous exposure by monitoring weather conditions. Here’s how to protect workers:

  • National Weather Service Heat Index: The NWS Heat Index measures heat-related risk in the workforce. It takes into account both temperature and humidity, providing an indicator of how hot it feels. The higher the Heat Index, the greater the need for protective measures. 
  • Stay Informed: Pay attention to local news updates and use reliable threat intelligence partners to stay informed about extreme heat alerts and heat-related warnings. 
  • Ongoing Monitoring: Continuously monitor weather conditions throughout the workday. Be prepared to make adjustments to work activities or provide additional support as necessary. 

Have a safe and healthy summer

With summer officially here, and the ongoing threat of high temperatures and extreme heat waves, encourage your clients to take hot weather safety measures seriously. Share these best practices to help employers reduce risk in the workplace and keep workers safe and productive. 

Enhancing Risk Management: The Crucial Role of Safety Culture

As a workers’ compensation insurance agent, your role extends beyond providing coverage. By helping your clients build a positive safety culture and boost employee morale, you can contribute to the overall well-being of their organizations. A positive safety culture helps prevent workplace injuries, enhances overall productivity, and reduces workers’ compensation insurance costs. 

In this article, we’ll explore what safety culture is and why it’s important. Plus, we’ll provide practical tips to help your clients fortify it within their organizations.

What Is Safety Culture?

Safety culture in the workplace refers to the shared beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that shape an organization’s approach to risk management and the well-being of its people. It extends beyond compliance with regulations and standards and fosters a proactive mindset where safety is embedded into every aspect of the company’s operations. 

A strong safety culture:

  • fosters open communication and employee participation
  • encourages reporting of safety hazards and near misses
  • promotes continuous improvement through learning and feedback
  • empowers individuals at all levels to take ownership of safety

The Link Between Safety Culture and Employee Morale

Building a positive safety culture goes hand in hand with fostering high employee morale. When employees feel safe, valued, and supported in their workplace, they become more engaged, productive, and motivated. This boosts morale (and in turn retention and productivity) as employees experience a heightened sense of job satisfaction and personal fulfillment.

Employers can demonstrate their commitment to their workforce’s well-being by adopting safety initiatives and actively involving employees in safety-related decisions. When employees see their opinions and feedback are valued, they feel empowered and engaged in the safety process. As a result, the organization’s safety performance improves, reinforcing the positive safety culture.

Benefits of a Positive Safety Culture

Research has shown companies that focus on workforce well-being and safety tend to have a competitive advantage in the marketplace and reduced costs of workplace injuries. Other benefits include:

  • enhanced employee morale and engagement
  • increased productivity
  • heightened profitability 
  • improved brand reputation 
  • fewer safety-related costs
  • decreased absenteeism/turnover 

How to Fortify a Strong Safety Culture

Below are five ways to help your clients develop and strengthen a safety culture that helps minimize risk, maximize productivity, and lower workers’ comp costs.

1. Start at the Top – A thriving safety culture begins with effective leadership and clear communication. Employers must set the tone from the top, demonstrating their commitment to safety and creating a shared responsibility among all employees. Encourage your clients to implement safety policies and programs, conduct regular training sessions, and encourage open dialogue.

2. Promote Employee Engagement – To actively involve employees in safety-related decisions, employers should encourage workers to report hazards, near misses, and potential risks. Empowering employees to take ownership of their safety fosters a sense of responsibility and commitment, ultimately boosting morale and reducing accidents.

The International Labour Organization cites that in workplaces that are promoting workers’ engagement while implementing a positive safety culture, there are:

→ 64% fewer safety incidents
→ 58% fewer hospitalizations

3. Nurture Well-being – When employees feel supported and cared for, they are more likely to be focused, alert, and engaged in their work, ultimately reducing the risk of accidents. Encourage your clients to prioritize employee welfare by offering flexible schedules, promoting stress management techniques, and providing resources for mental health support. 

4. Recognize and Reward Safety – To boost employee morale and strengthen safety culture, employers can establish safety recognition programs that acknowledge and reward employees who consistently follow safety protocols and actively contribute to a positive safety culture. These programs can create a ripple effect throughout an organization.

5. Cultivate Continuous Improvement – By fostering a continuous improvement culture, employers can enhance safety awareness and maintain high morale among their workforce. Encourage employers to leverage safety technology, provide regular safety training sessions, update workers on the latest best practices, and actively involve them in identifying potential areas for improvement. 

Wearable Safety Tech and Safety Culture

As it becomes more accessible, companies are incorporating wearable technology into their safety programs, empowering their employees to actively engage in their own safety. These devices can provide workers with instant feedback on their movements, posture, and exposure to potential hazards. 

For example, the Reflex wearable program, included at no cost with a Kinetic Insurance workers’ compensation policy, reduces the incidence of workplace injuries by automatically detecting improper body mechanics and providing workers with real-time feedback whenever a high-risk posture occurs. The wearable encourages workers to engage in a safety program by:

  • viewing and tracking their progress
  • setting and meeting goals
  • participating in safety recognition programs

Over time, as workers use Reflex to continuously improve their biomechanics on the job, they experience fewer injuries and improved well-being. 

Wearable safety tech also encourages a culture of collaboration and open communication. By sharing data and insights, teams can proactively identify risks and collectively find solutions to improve safety measures. This collaboration strengthens the safety culture by fostering a sense of shared responsibility, trust, and a common goal of ensuring everyone’s well-being.


A positive safety culture is the foundation of effective risk management. By helping your clients build their safety culture, you can help them minimize risks, maximize productivity, and reduce workers’ compensation insurance costs

Encourage your clients to implement practical strategies, such as effective leadership, employee engagement, and continuous improvement, to ensure the well-being of their workforce. Furthermore, talk with them about how wearable safety technology can help to fortify a positive safety culture and contribute to a company’s long-term success. 

Kinetic Insurance policies include the Kinetic Reflex wearable safety platform, proven to reduce workplace injuries and lost work days, at no charge. In partnership with Nationwide, we offer free resources and services to help policyholders maintain a safe and productive workforce and save money. 

Learn more about risk management services available to Kinetic policyholders. Reach out at info@kinetic-insurance.com.

3 Ways Wearables Can Change Worker Behavior and Reduce Risk

In the quest for enhanced workplace safety, traditional methods often fall short when it comes to changing risky employee behavior over the long term. However, the emergence of wearable devices is transforming the way companies approach safety measures. These innovative technologies have the potential to drive lasting behavior change among employees, resulting in improved safety outcomes and increased productivity

In this article, we’ll explore three key ways in which wearables can impact behavior change in the workplace.

1. Motivation 

Most people have heard how consumer wearables, such as fitness trackers, motivate users to be more active through goal setting, progress tracking, and gamification. Workplace wearable safety devices operate in the same way, motivating and engaging workers to actively participate in reducing risk.

For example, workers wearing an ergonomic wearable device can strive to limit high-risk movements that lead to injury. Employers can give workers a goal, such as 65 high-risk movements or less per day, creating a sense of accomplishment when they stay under the set threshold. Additionally, wearables enable employees to track their progress over time, allowing them to witness their own improvements and identify areas that need further attention. 

This data can also be shared with managers through interactive dashboards, enabling them to identify trends, assess risks, and provide targeted training where necessary. Employers gain insight into areas where they’re improving their risk, as well as what types of jobs are the highest risk and who needs additional training. 

Finally, to enhance motivation, companies can introduce gamification elements, offering rewards and fostering healthy competition among employees. For example, employers may give workers points for every day they wear their device and every day they stay under the high-risk movement goal. Points can then be exchanged for rewards or company swag.

2. Accountability 

In the same way consumer wearables help hold users accountable for new habits through reminders and alerts, safety wearables can provide employees with vibrational alerts when they engage in risky movements. These timely reminders increase awareness and enable individuals to self-correct their posture or actions, helping employees develop safer habits and sustain behavior change in the long run. In this way, wearables serve as continuous coaching devices that reduce the likelihood of workplace injuries.

3. The Halo Effect

The adoption of wearables for safety purposes often results in positive behavior changes beyond the initial goal. Referred to as the “halo effect,” this phenomenon occurs when improvements in one area spill over into other aspects of an individual’s life. 

Wearing a fitness tracker to increase daily steps can lead to healthier eating habits or improved sleep patterns for users. In the context of workplace safety, employees who engage with wearables and witness their own data become more invested in their well-being. This increased engagement fosters a safety-conscious culture where individuals are more likely to make better choices in other areas, such as adhering to proper procedures or reporting potential hazards. 

Additionally, the positive impact of wearables on safety outcomes leads to fewer injuries, resulting in a decrease in lost workdays and reduced disruptions to operations.

The Benefit of Behavior Change

The ultimate goal of behavior change through wearables is to reduce the number of high-risk movements and consequently minimize workplace injuries. This correlation between behavior and injury rates makes wearables a powerful tool for improving safety outcomes. 

By effectively reducing sprains and strains, wearables contribute to shorter recovery times, resulting in fewer lost or modified workdays. In today’s labor shortage environment, this benefit is particularly valuable, as it helps companies maintain their operations without relying on overtime, temporary workers, or the difficult task of finding replacements.

Furthermore, leveraging wearable safety technologies can have financial benefits for employers. Insurers and underwriters often view proactive safety measures favorably, leading to lower premiums and improved experience modification scores. By utilizing wearables to reduce injuries, companies can demonstrate their commitment to employee well-being and create a positive impact on their bottom line.

Kinetic Insurance offers policyholders FREE wearable safety technology that detects high-risk movements and helps drive long-term behavior change among frontline workers, reducing injury rates and related costs.

Learn more about Kinetic’s proven wearable tech and how it can impact a company’s bottom line at https://kinetic-insurance.com/.

High-Risk Postures: Why Frontline Workers Get Strain & Sprain Injuries

Sprain and strain injuries in the workplace can occur in any industry but are more common in jobs that involve manual labor, repetitive motions, or awkward postures, such as those of frontline workers. 

Consider the warehouse worker who repeatedly reaches overhead to select items; the nurse who repositions patients in awkward positions; or the delivery driver who bends again and again to load and unload products. When these workers move their bodies improperly, day after day, their risk of a strain or sprain injury increases.

What are Strain & Sprain Injuries?

Strain and sprain injuries affect the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other soft tissues of the body. These common workplace injuries can be caused by a variety of factors, including high-risk postures.

High-risk postures are positions that put excessive strain on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the body. These postures can be caused by elements such as the design of the workplace, the equipment used, and the tasks performed.

Examples of High-Risk Postures

According to the 2023 Travelers Injury Impact Report, the most common cause of accidents across all industries was overexertion, including strains or injuries resulting from twisting, reaching, lifting, or jumping.

Let’s take a closer look at these common high-risk postures:

Twisting: When twisting the body to perform a task, it’s important to use proper techniques to avoid injury. Twisting the spine vs turning, or twisting too far or too quickly, can put excessive strain on the muscles and cause a strain or sprain injury.

Reaching: When reaching for objects that are above shoulder height, it’s important to use proper techniques to avoid injury. Stretching too far can put excessive strain on the muscles and cause a strain or sprain injury.

Lifting: When lifting heavy objects, it’s important to use proper lifting techniques to avoid injury. Lifting with the back instead of the legs, for example, can put excessive strain on the muscles and cause a strain or sprain injury.

Jumping: When jumping, it’s important to use proper techniques to avoid injury. Landing improperly can put excessive strain on the muscles and cause a strain or sprain injury.

The Consequences of Strain & Sprain Injuries

Strain and sprain injuries can have serious consequences for both the employee and the employer. Here are some of the potential impacts:

On Employees:

  • Pain and discomfort: Strain and sprain injuries can cause pain and discomfort that can make it difficult for employees to perform their job duties.
  • Lost wages: If the injury is severe enough to require time off work, employees may lose wages while they recover.
  • Reduced mobility: Injuries can reduce an employee’s range of motion, making it difficult to perform tasks that require movement.
  • Chronic pain: In some cases, strain and sprain injuries can lead to chronic pain that can last for months or even years.

    On Employers:

    • Decreased productivity: When an employee is injured, they may not be able to perform their job duties at full capacity, which can lead to decreased productivity.
    • Increased costs: Employers may incur additional costs related to workers’ compensation claims, medical treatment, and hiring replacement workers. Sprains and strains were the most frequent resulting injury across all claims, according to the 2023 Travelers Injury Impact Report.
    • Legal issues: Employers may face legal issues if they are found to be in violation of safety regulations or if they do not properly address workplace injuries.
    • Damage to reputation: If employees are injured on the job and the employer is found to be at fault, it can damage the company’s reputation and lead to negative publicity.

    Preventing High-Risk Postures with Wearables

    While high-risk postures are prevalent in the workplace, they are mostly preventable. To prevent strain and sprain injuries, it’s important to use proper lifting techniques, avoid reaching too far, and use proper techniques when twisting the body. In addition, ergonomics, workplace adjustments, training, and education can all help to prevent these injuries from occurring.

    To reduce strain and sprain injuries, employers need an ergonomic safety solution that consistently improves the way employees move on the job. Because this can be very difficult to teach in a one-time training session, a wearable device that measures and helps to improve posture in real-time can be a game changer in injury prevention.

    Using sensor technology, an ergonomic wearable device is able to detect high-risk postures as they are occurring. The device can alert a worker when they’re bending or twisting improperly, or overextending their spine, so they can correct the risky behavior and create new habits before developing a sprain or strain injury.

    As workers reduce the frequency of high-risk postures, over time, workplace injury rates decrease.


    High-risk postures can contribute to strain and sprain injuries in the workplace. By understanding what these postures are, how they contribute to injuries, and what you can do to prevent them, employers can help to create a safer and more productive work environment for the frontline workforce.

    Safeguarding the Aging Workforce

    As the American workforce continues to evolve, one notable trend is the increasing number of older workers choosing to remain active and engaged in their professions. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of workers aged 65 and older is projected to grow faster than any other age group between now and 2028. With this demographic shift, it becomes crucial for employers to pay special attention to workplace safety for the aging workforce.

    A Valuable Asset

    Older workers bring experience, expertise, and wisdom to the workplace. They often possess valuable skills, institutional knowledge, and strong work ethics. Employers who embrace and support the aging workforce can benefit from their dedication, reduced turnover rates, and a positive impact on workplace culture. However, it’s vital to recognize aging workers may face unique challenges when it comes to workplace safety.

    According to the latest data from the BLS, the number of workers aged 65 and older experiencing work-related injuries has been steadily increasing. In 2019, the injury rate for this age group was 10% higher than the overall rate for all workers. This statistic sheds light on the urgent need to address workplace safety concerns specific to older employees.

    Top Work-Related Injuries for Employees 65 and Older

    Slips, Trips, and Falls – 48%*
    Falls are the most common workplace accidents for older employees, accounting for a significant portion of injuries. Factors such as reduced balance, diminished vision, and slower reflexes can contribute to a higher susceptibility.

    Overexertion – 24%*
    Overexertion and strains are common among aging workers due to changes in physical strength and flexibility. Lifting heavy objects or engaging in repetitive motions can lead to sprains, strains, and other musculoskeletal injuries.

    *Bureau of Labor Statistics

    Frontline Workers Lead the Trend

    While an aging labor force affects businesses across the U.S. economy, the trend is particularly taxing on the industrial sectors due to an older-than-average workforce.

    Frontline Workforce Average Ages

    Manufacturing → 44.3*
    The manufacturing workforce is older, and aging faster, than the overall U.S. labor force with over one quarter of the manufacturing workforce being 55 or older.

    Transportation & Warehousing → 42.8*
    The median age of truck drivers is well above the national average of all workers.

    Skilled Nursing & Residential Care Facilities→ 43.6*
    According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, as of 2020, approximately 54% of registered nurses in the United States were aged 50 or older.

    *Bureau of Labor Statistics

    In frontline jobs, employees of all ages typically perform tasks that put them at higher risk of strain and sprain injury, such as lifting heavy loads, performing repetitive motions, and maintaining tiring or awkward positions. Strain and sprain injuries can result over time, and older workers may report more injuries since they’ve had more time for conditions to develop. 

    To maintain the quality, productive labor force necessary for successful operations, employers need to prioritize workplace safety measures tailored to the needs of older workers.

    Keeping the Aging Frontline Workforce Safe

    Creating a safe work environment is a shared responsibility between employers and employees. Here are some key ways employers can reduce the risk of work-related injuries for older workers.

    Reducing Overexertion

    • Design workstations for ergonomics and modify job tasks that require awkward postures or excess bending, twisting, or reaching.
    • Reduce the strain of prolonged standing, possibly with a sit/stand chair or anti-fatigue mat.
    • Ensure adequate rest breaks and encourage stretching exercises.

    Preventing Slips and Falls

    • Regularly inspect and maintain walkways, floors, and stairs
    • Install handrails and slip-resistant flooring and stairs.
    • Improve lighting and color contras.
    • Promote awareness of appropriate footwear; consider a slip-resistant shoe program.
    • Eliminate elevation changes over 1/4 inch.

    Creating a Culture of Safety

    • Provide safety training programs tailored to the needs of older workers, such as lifting techniques, proper body mechanics, and safe driving practices.
    • Offer flexible work arrangements, such as modified schedules or rotating job tasks, to accommodate the changing needs and capabilities of older employees.

    Wearable Safety Tech: Empowering Workers of All Ages

    Wearable safety technology transcends age and serves as a powerful tool to enhance workplace safety and productivity for all employees. However, it can be particularly beneficial for the aging workforce, contributing to improved ergonomics, increased safety, and enhanced productivity.

    Whether it’s lifting heavy objects, bending, or reaching, wearables offer continuous coaching and real-time feedback to workers of all ages, helping them maintain proper techniques and minimize the risk of injuries.

    Additionally, a wearable safety solution provides employers with actionable insights into specific ergonomic risks present in the workplace. By utilizing data collected from wearables, employers can identify areas for improvement and take proactive measures to mitigate potential hazards.

    Benefits by the Numbers

    Wearables can reduce the frequency of workplace injuries by 55%.*
    The devices act as a proactive measure, preventing ergonomic injuries and promoting a safer working environment. This leads to reduced claims costs and workers’ compensation premiums.

    Wearables have been found to decrease lost work days by up to 72%.*
    The devices reduce the rate of worker absences resulting from injuries, leading to cost savings for employers.

    *Perr&Knight report


    By addressing the unique challenges faced by older workers and implementing proactive solutions, employers can create a safer work environment that promotes the longevity, productivity, and overall satisfaction of their aging workforce. It can also pay off in an organization’s bottom line. Leveraging wearables, along with ergonomic practices and a culture of safety, empowers workers of all ages to thrive while ensuring a safer future for the entire workforce. 

    The Kinetic wearable safety platform is proven to reduce workplace injuries by 55% and lost work days by 72%. Provided to Kinetic policyholders at no extra cost, the Kinetic Reflex detects high-risk behaviors and provides data-driven insights to help protect workers and enhance the bottom line.

    Learn more about smarter insurance coverage that keeps workers safe and reduces costs today!