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Oregon employers will see a portion of their workers compensation costs drop by an average of 14% starting Jan. 1, the Department of Consumer and Business Services announced Monday.
This marks the fifth year in a row that businesses will experience an average decrease in the pure premium, which has declined by an average of 33% total since 2013, the department reported.
Next year's average decrease in pure premium is part of a package of rates designed to maintain workplace safety and health programs while preserving historically low costs, the department stated in a press release.
The department also intends to increase the premium assessment, which funds state costs of running workers comp and workplace safety and health programs, from 6.8% to 7.4%. The department stated this increase is needed to support worker protection and related programs to keep pace with an expanding economy.
The combination of the changes in pure premium and assessment rates is a net reduction in costs for the average employer, according to the department. The average employer would pay 90 cents per $100 of payroll for claims costs and assessments, down from $1.03 in 2017.
“Keeping workers' compensation costs low helps maintain a healthy business climate for Oregon employers,” Jean Straight, DCBS acting director, said in a press statement. “Oregon is unique in achieving these low costs while at the same time preserving strong worker protection programs and benefits for injured workers.”
Fewer workers died in Oregon in the 2016 third quarter than in the same period in 2015, according to a preliminary report released by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, which tracks compensable workers compensation deaths.