LETTER: Real Cause of High Worker Comp Rates

By Beacon Staff

I found the words “job killing” in the sentence “… one of the top job-killing problems in the state: workers’ compensation costs” in Joe Bennion’s recent guest (March 9 Beacon: “Legislature Delivering on Job Bills”) to be in poor taste. I’m sure Bennion is aware Montana has the highest per capita rate of on-the-job fatalities in the country. Every time a statement is made in the paper or on TV concerning Montana’s high worker compensation costs, it should also be noted Montana is ranked No. 1 in work-related deaths in the U.S.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the correlation between having the highest on-the-job work-related fatality rate and highest worker compensation rates. Instead of reforming worker compensation rates on the backs of workers (literally), how about making employers provide a safer work environment for their employees. If we can decrease the number of “killing jobs,” I’m sure the state’s worker compensation rates will also decrease.

Randy Miller

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