Thanks to legislation that passed with bipartisan support, the state of Colorado has now created a fund for injured workers whose employers aren’t insured.
The state, however, will continue to fine employers without workers’ compensation insurance.
Under the Uninsured Employer Act, it will now have funds set aside to help toward assisting injured workers.
Those funds, in fact, will come from the fines that employers are made to pay if they’re found not to have workers’ compensation coverage.
Previously, employers without insurance would be fined $250 a day, and could eventually be shut down. The new bill will allow the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to decide appropriate daily fines.
The bill was signed into law in June, which is recognized as National Safety Month.
Ensuring a safe work environment and preventing workplace injuries is an important priority for the state. 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.
Currently, over 7,500 Colorado employers participate in the program. Employers certified in the Cost Containment Program saw a total of $24.5 million in the overall reduction of total claim costs in 2016.
About the Author
Will has enjoyed a 20-year career in leadership positions in the hospitality and travel industry throughout the U.S. with the Hyatt, Sheraton, Hilton, Renaissance and Steamboat Ski and Resort corporations. Will received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. From 2000-2007, he served as President and CEO of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce. He also served as Vice President-Special Projects for the University of Colorado Foundation from 2007 to 2009. Will is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Homeland Defense Foundation and former member of the United States Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. He is married to Nan, has five wonderful children, and enjoys coaching, traveling, hiking, golfing and skiing.