The number one injury diagnosis for restaurant workers is minor wound/injury to the skin. These represent nearly 1 out of 3 restaurant claims, but only 4.4% of the loss payments, as they tend to be relatively inexpensive cases in which the worker is treated quickly and returns to work with no lost time. On the other hand, medical back problems without spinal cord involvement (typically sprains and strains) make up less than 1 in 5 restaurant claims but because they can require extended treatment and often result in lost time, they carry a much higher average cost and consume almost 1/3 of paid losses in this sector. Rounding out the top 5 injury categories among restaurant workers are shoulder, arm, knee and lower leg sprains (10.4% of the claims, 8.8% of paid losses); other injuries, poisonings and toxic effects (8.1% of the claims, 9.4% of the payments); and ruptured tendons, tendonitis, myositis and bursitis (3.8% of the claims, 6.0% of the payments). Notably, 2nd or 3rd degree burns, or burns over at least 20% of the body represent 3.6% of the restaurant claims, which is about 5 times the proportion found for all industries, though fortunately, many of these are relatively minor injuries, so burn injuries accounted for only 1.4% of the total dollars paid on restaurant claims.
The scorecard also features a profile of restaurant sector claimants, claim distributions based on claimant job classification and county of residence, nature and cause of injury, primary diagnosis, and employer premium size. Claim closure rates and average benefit payments at 12, 24 and 36 months post injury also are provided by accident year. Pre- and post-reform claim and payment distributions by type of claim (med-only, temporary disability, permanent disability, and death) are shown, as are pre- and post-reform attorney involvement rates for permanent disability claims, with comparative distributions shown for all California work injury claims.
All 7 of CWCI’s Industry Score Cards and the summary Bulletins are available to CWCI members and research subscribers who log on to CWCI’s web site, www.cwci.org. Anyone wishing to subscribe may do so by visiting CWCI’s online Store. The next Score Card will focus on claims from the trucking industry.