May 01, 2015

Lifestyle Risk in Workers' Compensation

Claims Management
, Cost Containment

Workers’ compensation is not just about the injury – it has a lot to do with the worker themselves as well. One injured worker’s lifestyle can affect the efficiency in which he can recover.

We found this article by Risk Management Magazine to be of particular interest.

In it, the writer gives an overview of Fred Hubbs’, partner at the law firm Hall Booth Smith, P.C., RIMS discussion about how different trends can increase risk exposure in the workplace.

Here are some of the main points:

  • Hubbs defines “lifestyle risk” examples to include obesity, smoking, non-compliance with treatment for diabetes, and telecommuting.
  • Obesity is expected to affect 50% of Americans by 2030, which may significantly affect workers’ compensation, as obese workers file twice as many claims than non-obese workers and those claims tend to be up to seven times more expensive.
  • Smokers can be more likely to be injured on the job, and smoking during work hours can lead to specific compensable workplace accidents.
  • Hubbs recommends that employers be more proactive to help their employees be healthier in order to reduce workers’ compensation costs.
  • The numerous variables of a telecommuting employee can significantly increase an employer’s exposure to risk. Examples include the employee’s “jobsite,” their hours, and designated “office” space.


To read the article in its entirety, visit