Forms 300’s and 200’s


A new data study covering all OSHA recordable injuries and illnesses, provides the basis for rating state-by-state workers compensation performances.


This report provides data for three (3) years based on six different outcome measures for each year:  (1) Incident Rates, (2) Cases Missing Work, (3) Median Disability Durations, (4) Delayed Recovery Rate, (5) Key Conditions: Low Back Strain; and (6) Key Conditions: Carpel Tunnel Syndrome.


Alabama was the “Most Improved” state in overall ranking, and received an “A” in 2002.  Utah got a solid “A” in every year, and outcomes have even gotten better over the period.  Indiana also has excellent outcomes, especially in minimizing missed work, and they have been consistently good, also earning “A”s in every year.  Minnesota is again one of our winners, not only being among nine states receiving an “A” in 2002, but also receiving “A”s consistently for all three years.  Other “A”s were received in 2002 by Georgia, Iowa and Virginia.


New Mexico has the unfortunate distinction of being the “Biggest Decliner” over the period from 2000, when they got a “B+”, to 2002, when they received a “D”.  Texas has actually made some improvement, going from an “F” to a “D-”.   This improvement is primarily due to an excellent performance in prevention and safety (keeping the incidence rate cases low compared to the population as a whole).   However, when it comes to return-to-work (delayed recovery and median disability durations), Texas remains last. California, the largest state, received a flunking grade for all three years.  Performance was not good on all measures, but is close to the bottom when it comes to getting workers back on the job and preventing outliers, especially for carpal tunnel syndrome.  New York has gotten even worse. They received “F”s in all three years, but they went from being in the middle of the “F”s, to being in last place as a state (second to last after Puerto Rico).  Other “F”s were received by Delaware, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wyoming.  A summary of each grade for all states is shown on a U.S. Map Showing Grades by State, located at


Also new, this report analyzes the association of specific managed care programs to outcomes by comparing the average ranking for those participating states with the program to the average ranking for those participating states without the program.  Participating states with a state workers’ compensation insurance fund did slightly worse than states with no state fund, with a decline in ranking of 1.2 points.  Limiting provider choice seems to result in a very large positive difference in ranking, with states going up in the ranking by 9.5 points when provider choice is limited.  Use of a fee schedule indicates a decline in the ranking by 3.4 points, and use of state-specific treatment guidelines manifests a decline of 5.9 points.


To view the press release, which describes the study in more detail, go to


More details on the methodology used is located at


To purchase the 2004 State Report Cards for Workers’ Comp ($225), visit or contact WLDI at 800-488-5548 (760) 753-9992).




a.       To review ALL 50 states and D.C.’s Home Pages and Workers Compensation Agencies;

       GO TO:  for an OVERVIEW of State Workers’ Compensation laws.