Denver, CO – Governor John Hickenlooper recently signed into law The Colorado Uninsured Employer Act (HB17-1119) to provide assistance to workers who are injured on the job. Among other provisions, this bill allows the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s (CDLE) Division of Workers’ Compensation to establish a new “Uninsured Employers Fund” similar to those created in other states. This fund will provide financial assistance to workers who are injured on the job while working for uninsured employers.
Appropriately, the bill was signed into law in June, which is recognized as National Safety Month. Governor Hickenlooper also issued a proclamation (PDF) declaring June Colorado Workforce Safety Month.
Ensuring a safe work environment and preventing workplace injuries is an important priority for CDLE. Creating a safe workplace is not only critical to the health and well being of employees, it also saves employers time and money. The National Safety Council estimates the average cost of a “lost-time” injury is more than $38,000.
According to the Colorado Division of Workers Compensation, there were 27,243 “lost-time” workers compensation claims in Colorado from 2004 to 2013. During that same time, Colorado’s average annual employment increased by almost 20 percent yet the number of lost-time claims filed saw an almost 7 percent decrease.The statistics indicate that a focus on workplace safety is seeing results. Safer workplaces show higher productivity and quality and greater employee satisfaction.
Employers can also see a significant reduction in workers’ compensation premium costs when implementing a safety and loss control program authorized by the Division of Workers’ Compensation’s Premium Cost Containment (PCC) Program.
Through this program, employers will find ways to control work-related injuries while qualifying for a 5 to 10 percent workers’ compensation premium discount. Currently, over 7,500 Colorado employers participate in the program. Employers certified in the Cost Containment Program saw a total of $24,591,688 in the overall reduction of total claim costs in 2016. Employers are urged to call 303-318-8644 for more information about the Premium Cost Containment Program.