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Washington state calls for comp rate decrease

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The average amount employers pay for workers compensation insurance in Washington state would drop 2.5% in 2018 under a proposal released Wednesday by Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries.

The proposed decrease would result in Washington employers, as a group, paying $67 million less in premiums, according to a press release. The lower rate would also mean employers would pay an average of about $34 less a year per employee for comp coverage.

The department attributes the proposed decrease to several factors, including employers and workers focusing on safety, and Labor and Industries initiatives that are helping injured workers recover sooner and reducing comp costs, according to the press release. 

“Efforts to help injured workers heal and return to work are paying off. It’s good for them, it helps employers, and it keeps workers’ compensation costs down,” said Gov. Jay Inslee in a statement. “I want to thank businesses and workers for doing their part to improve workplace safety, and (Labor and Industries) for its work to improve the workers’ compensation system. Both are helping create a positive business climate in Washington.”

In the past four years, several improvements have resulted in a more than $1.7 billion reduction in projected long-term costs for the workers comp system, according to the department’s release.