In March, acting secretary Kathy Manderino of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) announced that Pennsylvania businesses would see a significant reduction in workers’ compensation insurance rates. The rate dropped nearly 6%, and was effective on April 1—better yet, the benefits available to injured workers would not be cut.
No, it wasn’t an April Fool’s Day prank. The 5.99% rate cut will save Pennsylvania companies about $140 million this year, and is expected to lift a significant burden off of these businesses’ shoulders while maintaining the same level of protection to employees hurt in the scope of their employment. This is the fourth year in a row that workers’ compensation insurance rates have dropped, and Governor Tom Wolf hopes that this keeps businesses and jobs in Pennsylvania.
Additionally, the DLI has taken an important step in promoting safety by offering what businesses really care about—another premium discount. Businesses with a state-certified workplace safety committee—of which there are over 10,500—can receive an additional 5% premium discounts. A classic win-win scenario, these workplace safety committees save companies money while keeping employees safer on the job—a feat that Manderino is proud of.
Why Is Pennsylvania’s Approach to Workplace Safety So Important?
While not every business in the state will see the rate cut—there are several factors that will determine an employer’s eligibility—this is an important and proactive step to take toward protecting the hardworking men and women of Pennsylvania.
In an economy where a business’s financial balance hangs by a thread, employee benefits (whether they be health, retirement, etc.) are often the first to get trimmed in an effort to save money—which can translate to saving jobs. Businesses and employees alike are constantly being faced with catch-22 decisions about sacrificing important benefits for the sake of buying back a few months of job security.
While this is a drop in the bucket compared to the systemic issues of workplace safety remaining a priority for employers, it is a huge step for the businesses that will enjoy the continued workers’ comp rate cuts. By rewarding businesses that have placed a high value on safety, these businesses (as well as others) are motivated to continue promoting a culture of safety in the workplace.
Workers’ compensation is an incredibly valuable insurance system that protects workers and employers alike, and Pennsylvania’s support of in-state businesses has made it clear that safety is a priority for the men and women who call Pennsylvania home. To learn more about Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation coverage, explore our expansive article library!