What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is the system used to provide wage replacement, medical, and rehabilitation benefits to workers who suffer a work-related injury or illness. A work-related injury is any injury that happens on the job. It can be the result of a specific event or happen over time. An example of an injury from a specific event is when an individual falls off a ladder and breaks a bone. An example of an injury that occurs over time is a sprain that developed because of the repetitive nature of the job.
A work-related illness is any illness where work caused, significantly contributed to the cause, or aggravated the illness. Work-related illnesses are the result of exposure to something at the workplace. Work-related illnesses often develop after a longer period of time but can also happen from a one-time exposure.
Who is covered?
The Workers' Disability Compensation Act covers most Michigan employers. Employers must buy an insurance policy from a private insurance company or be self-insured. This requirement makes sure there is payment for claims and costs.
Groups not covered:
- Federal employees
- Railroad employees
- Seamen on navigable waters
- Workers who load and unload water vessels
- Private employers with less than three workers or who have one worker with less than 35 hours per week for less than 13 weeks
Only wage replacement claims of covered workers are computerized so the data doesn’t include:
- Workers off work for less than seven days
- Workers who only received medical or rehabilitation benefits
- Workers with injuries or illnesses who are assigned a different job at work while they are
- Workers not covered by the Workers’ Disability Compensation Act
- Workers, who although qualified, do not file a wage loss claim or a claim for a specific loss
- Workers denied wage loss or specific loss claims recovering from their injury or illness
Workers' Compensation claim data are known not to capture the total burden of work-related injuries and illnesses in a population, particularly long-latency illnesses such as cancer or pneumoconiosis that occur in retirees. The data base does not include the conditions that led to the work-related injury or illness.
The interactive web site MDHHS - Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses can be used to examine both the number of paid claims and the rate of paid claims by:
- Small, medium and large employers
- Type of injury
- Year (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and combined)
- Age groups
- Industry type
MSU Workers' Compensation Data Tracking Project
Recreate the data tracking project described in Preparing Work-Related Injuries and Illness Data for MiTracking using the tools listed below: