Bill Donnell, President and CEO of NCCI, kicked off the 2018 NCCI Annual Issues Symposium with a discussion of The Future@Work.
Back in the early 90’s, the workers’ comp industry experienced six consecutive years of losses. Contract that with industry profitability the last 6 years. The market has gone up and down over the years but the trends the last few years have been good.
The ratio of fatalities per 100,000 workers is down sharply compared to the 1990’s, even though that trend has gone upward the last two years. Accident frequency rates have trended downward for years. Clearly workplaces are safer than they have ever been.
Bill used the word CONNECTING to describe the workers’ compensation industry. Right now the workplace and our workforce are connecting in many different ways. Technology has changed this rapidly.
There are concerns about how automation will impact the workforce in the future. These changes do not happen quickly. There are business, regulatory and human concerns with such automation. Look at autonomous trucking as an example. There will be significant regulatory concerns about allowing such a change because of the economic impact it would have on the workforce.
According to a McKinzey study, up to 15% of the jobs today will be changed by 2030. This will bring new opportunities and likely new jobs into the workplace.
As much as the older generations like to criticize millennials, they are the ones best equipped to lead us into the future. They are the best educated, most diverse, and most technologically savvy generation yet.
A key question for the future of workers’ compensation will be “Do we move fast enough as an industry to keep up with changing technology?” Will we embrace technology to deliver value, safety, customer service, and enhance return to work.