City’s workers comp costs dropping

The City of Findlay’s workers compensation costs have plunged in recent years.
The city and its workers have become more safety-conscious, and workers who are injured are spending less time away from work, officials say.
Kelly Lowry from CompManagement, the city’s third-party program administrator, recently told City Council that for the past five years, Findlay has been “better than the average city” when it comes to premium costs paid to the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.
In 2009, the city’s premium payout was $465,639. In 2012, the total was $149,055, and last year it was $146,232.
The number of claims didn’t necessarily go down, but the costs did. Last year, the city had 20 total claims. In 2012, it had 14 claims, and in 2011, 19.
Auditor Jim Staschiak said premium costs are based on a three-year running average and what type of workers compensation program a municipality participates in.
Findlay’s participation in the state’s Retrospective Rating Program, beginning in 2010, has saved it $846,349, Lowry said, $324,374 of it last year. The program “is a type of self-insurance” option that allows employers to reduce premium payouts by taking on significantly more liability for potential claims costs, Staschiak said.
The Retrospective Rating System “has forced the city to be more proactive in preventing workers compensation-related injuries and it’s paying off,” he said.
Efforts by city employees have helped, too.
For years, employees have organized a safety committee that studies safety mandates issued by organizations, particularly the Ohio Safety and Health Administration, and tries to ensure that workers in all departments are complying with them.

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