The data comes from NCCI's study of 2012 AY injuries in the workers' comp system. It offers a detailed view of the rate of injuries during the Great Recession.
Hydraulic fracturing involves opening or widening rock fractures below the Earth's surface by injecting a highly pressurized mix of water, sand, and chemicals, NCCI explained. It has been the subject of considerable attention because the use of multiple technologies has made the process more economical and efficient, leading to a boom in natural gas production.
A segment of the oil and gas industry, hydraulic fracturing is generally included in two NCCI codes for contracting. Both saw substantially higher rates of injuries than for the oil and gas industry as a whole.
The oil and gas industry saw growth in payroll of 16 percent over the latest five years, which NCCI calls "even more striking" since it is generally within the contracting industry group, which was hardest hit by the recession. The oil and gas industry also saw an increase in claims severity of 22 percent, which was greater than the increase for all industries -- 15.4 percent.
The overall frequency decline of 5 percent in AY 2012 follows a modest decline of 0.9 percent in 2011 and an increase of 3.8 percent in AY 2010 -- the first increase since 1997.
"Prior to the 2010 uptick, claim frequency had been declining at an average rate of more than 4 percent per year since 1990," the report says. "Over the five complete policy years ending with policy year expiring 2011, frequency per payroll declined by 16 percent -- 4.3 percent per year -- but has leveled off over the latest two years."
While frequency has declined, the average cost per lost time claim increased 1 percent for indemnity and 3 percent for medical, NCCI said.
Additional findings in the report include:
- Frequency per payroll declined for all industry groups, especially contracting and manufacturing.
- Frequency per payroll declined for all employer sizes with the largest declines among employers with more than $100 million in payroll.
- Frequency declines were relatively consistent by NCCI injury type.
- Payroll volume declined nearly 2 percent for all injuries combined.
By Nancy Grover
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
October 28, 2013
Copyright 2013© LRP Publications