ND Program represents worker and employerGreetings from your District 36 Senator.
By: George Nodland, The Dickinson Press
Greetings from your District 36 Senator.
The Legislative Worker’s Compensation Review Committee met recently. We received an update on the activities of the Workforce Safety and Insurance Department from the department’s management and legal council. Following is some of the information we received:
Director Bryan Klipfel, strategic plan
- Implement servant leadership principles.
- More personal contact with customers.
- Accepted 92 percent of claims; denied 8 percent.
- 2.5 percent employee turnover rate.
- Equal or above national average with benefits.
- Lowest premium rate in the nation.
- North Dakota has a low-time lost from work rate due to attitude of workers, vocational rehab program, safety program and low litigation expenses.
- Reserves are at 153 percent required to get to 140 percent by law. It will give a 50 percent dividend to employers this year.
- The claims department has 45 adjusters, eight supervisors and handles an average of 21,000 claims per year.
Statistics (2009 to 2010)
- Oil production is the largest industry in premiums at 30 percent; Transportation is second at 24 percent; and construction is third at 13 percent.
- Oil industry wages increased from $459 million in 2009 to $853.4 million in 2010.
- Oil industry workers increased from 13,759 in 2009 to 23,753 in 2010.
- Oil industry claims increased from 690 in 2009 to 747 in 2010.
- Many oilfield claims are transient type of employees; which complicates handling claims.
As you can see, the oil industry claims did not increase (15 percent) very much compared to the increase of oilfield workers (72.6 percent) from 2009 to 2010. The oilfield has done an excellent job in improving its safety standards from the last oil boom in North Dakota in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The department impresses me with its way of doing business with its clients (claims). They are attempting to handle each case in a more professional manner and treat each individual the way they should be treated. Some claims are false and need to be handled accordingly. These cases may end up in a court of law and may take a long time to resolve. But, most claims are legitimate and need to be processed quickly to help the individual get back to work or trained for another job placement.
Sometimes the department does make a mistake in its decision process and the claim is reversed. This is the purpose of the program. I personally feel North Dakota has a very good workforce safety program that represents both the worker and the employer.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you. Please continue to give me your thought and concerns.
Nodland is the North Dakota District 36 senator. Email him at Nodland firstname.lastname@example.org.