AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. released the AmTrust 2023 Food Manufacturing Report. A key finding of the report was an overall decrease in the total number of injury claims from food manufacturers in the U.S. post-pandemic.
The total number of workers’ comp claims declined by 13% from pre-COVID to post-pandemic, based on AmTrust’s analysis of 15,000 claims during the period 2018-2022.
“Post-pandemic has been a very volatile time for the food manufacturing industry due to labor shortages, supply chain issues and inflationary costs. In general, though, workplace injuries were down in 2020, 2021 and 2022 compared to 2019,” says Matt Zender, senior vice president, AmTrust workers’ compensation product manager.
The most common injuries—and the most expensive injuries to treat—are strains. More than one quarter (28%) of all injuries were caused by strains and almost one third (31%) of the most expensive workers’ compensation claims were for strains according to AmTrust’s claims analysis.
Lower back injuries were the third-most common and second-most expensive claims.
AmTrust recommends workplace safety measures for food manufacturers to address those common injuries, including guard rails around elevated platforms and non-slip closed-toe shoes.
“Food manufacturing involves various forms of manual material handling which could involve lifting and moving objects, and pushing and pulling equipment—all actions that could lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and strain/sprain injuries,” says Woody Dwyer, director of loss control for AmTrust and a Certified Professional Ergonomist (CPE). “We are working with food companies who are testing occupational exoskeletons which could take the strain off the body, and we’re pleased to see the progress in that area.”
AmTrust released the report to mark the start of National Safety Month in June.