For the 2005-06 premium year, North Dakota employers are reportedly enjoying the benefits of an estimated $46 million in premium dividend credits from Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI), the state’s workers’ compensation organization.
Since July 1, 2005, nearly $20 million in WSI premium dividend credits have been invested back into North Dakota communities. In the next six months an additional $26 million will go back in North Dakota’s economy by reducing nearly every business’s workers’ comp premium by 40 percent.
Excluding minimum premium payers, the average employer in the state pays nearly $7,000 in workers’ comp premiums, the 40 percent dividend credit will amount to $2,800. In addition to the 40 percent credit, $35 million in safety grants and $15 million in education loans for qualified injured workers have also been committed to invest in the state’s workforce.
“This is one of the largest direct cash infusions into North Dakota’s economy that the state has seen,” said House Majority Leader Rick Berg of Fargo. “Businesses in this state are using these dollars to grow their companies, create jobs and provide security for all North Dakota workers. The money is being returned because of the accountability and efficiency that has been built into WSI over the last 10 years.”
The premium dividend credits come on top of North Dakota’s position as being the lowest cost for workers’ comp premiums in the country and in the upper half for benefits provided to injured workers.
Last August, after the second consecutive year of increases in the number of work injuries, WSI began to revamp its safety programs, moving from documentation-based safety programs to performance-based programs.
To encourage businesses to reduce the number of on-the-job injuries, discounts of up to 15 percent will be available to employers who reduce the number of injury claims and the total number of days workers are off work because of a work-related injury.
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