The Work Loss Data Institute (WLDI) has released its 2012 State Report Cards for Workers' Comp, now with 10 years of data. The report tracks trends and gives states a grade and tier ranking based on their performance from 2000-2009. Forty-three states are covered, plus Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.

WLDI's State Report Cards are based on data from OSHA Forms 300 and 200, which cover all OSHA recordable injuries and illnesses and provide the basis for rating state-by-state workers' compensation performance. The report cards help employers, insurers, TPA's, state governments, and consultants answer the question, "Who is doing well and why?"

In addition to safety and severity, the State Report Cards emphasize a primary outcome measure: Do workers get better and go back to work? Five different outcome measures are compared among the states for each year:

  1. Incidence rates
  2. Cases missing work
  3. Median disability durations
  4. Delayed recovery rate
  5. Key condition: low back strain

Alabama, Arkansas, Michigan, and Missouri all showed significant advancement. Texas wins for "Most Improved," with a dramatic move from four years of failing grades from 2000-2003, to a steady incline that peaked in 2008 and 2009 with grades of B-. According to WLDI, if Texas continues on this trend, the state: which underwent a major workers' compensation overhaul in 2007: could end up a leader in workers' comp performance.

Utah performed the best of all the states for 2009 and Arkansas and Minnesota came in a close second and third. All three states received a grade of A+ based on an average of their 2009 scores in the five categories. West Virginia, New York, Hawaii, Wyoming, and Kentucky received failing grades. This is New York's tenth consecutive year with an F grade.

View a U.S. map showing a summary of the grades by state. Connecticut is among the non-participant states.