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‘Barista Wrist’ Among Restaurant Industry’s Highest Lost Time Injuries

December 28, 2018

“Our data supports the increasingly accepted belief that the repetitive stress injury known as ‘Barista Wrist’ is a very real condition as wrist injuries accounted for the most days of work missed,” said Matt Zender, senior vice president and Workers’ Compensation product manager for AmTrust, in a statement reporting some of the findings of the company’s “AmTrust Restaurant Risk Report.”

The report, summarizing insights based on more than 84,000 claims with loss payments from 2013 to 2017 by AmTrust’s restaurant clients, reveals that Barista Wrist results in an average of 366 days to return to work.

The claims study also reveals that cafés and coffee shops yield the highest lost time among the workers comp claims—on average 45 percent more time lost than all other restaurant types.

Among the other findings:

  • Cuts, punctures or scrapes made up one-third of all the restaurant claims reported.
  • Even though sharp objects caused the most reported claims, falls and slips resulted in $198.4 million in claims paid—4.5 times more in paid losses than for cuts, punctures or scrapes;
  • Barbecue restaurants have the highest days lost for “strains from lifting” with an average of 65.9 days out.
  • States with the highest average lost time are Vermont, New Jersey, Indiana, Mississippi, and Idaho while the states with the lowest average lost time were Ohio, Michigan, North Dakota, Wyoming and Washington.

AmTrust’s data also indicated that restaurant claims increase in the summer months, which is peak season for many restaurants, with roughly 4-5 percent more employees on staff in June, July and August compared to other months. Similar to past years, July was the highest month for claims in 2017, with 13 percent more claims than an average month.

The full AmTrust “Restaurant Risk Report 2018” is available in Research & Trends.

According to A.M. Best, AmTrust was the fourth largest workers compensation writer based on 2017 premiums.

Topics Claims Workers' Compensation

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