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The Washington Department of Labor & Industries on Wednesday proposed a 5% decrease in the average premium employers will pay for workers compensation in 2019.
If approved, the rate decrease would be the largest drop since 2007, according to a statement from the department. The lower rate would mean employers would pay an average of about $58 less a year per employee for workers comp coverage and, in turn, employees would pay about $6 less a year for their share of the cost, according to the department.
The proposed decrease translates into a $136 million drop in premiums, the department said.
Decreases in work-related injuries, along with department initiatives to improve outcomes for injured workers and reduce costs, have made the system healthier and are contributing to the proposed decrease, the department’s director, Joel Sacks, said in the statement.
“We’ve seen a big drop in injuries at work in our state since 2012,” he said. “Along with that, we’re doing a better job helping injured workers heal and return to work.”
The department is set to hold a public hearing in December before approving the reduction.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Wednesday that would cover cancer and other illnesses under presumption for former workers of the decommissioned Hanford nuclear site in Hanford, Washington.