NCCI HEAD: COMP SYSTEM HAS BECOME MORE STABLE

NCCI HEAD: COMP SYSTEM HAS BECOME MORE STABLE

The workers compensation insurance system is "more stable today than it has been in years," the president of the National Council on Compensation Insurance said.

However, William D. Hager warned the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions that "there are challenges ahead that could mean the difference between ongoing stability or eventual decline."Speaking at the association's annual convention in Albuquerque, N.M., Mr. Hager said the workers compensation system faces a number of challenges to stability.

They include insisting that workers' safety become a permanent and

unyielding focus, insisting that the system deliver speedy medical care and payments to workers, and making sure states that have not already reformed their workers compensation laws do so, he said.

Mr. Hager said workplace safety has become a genuine corporate priority.

"For example, injuries resulting in time losses dropped 18 percent between 1990 and 1993. These declines came from traditionally dangerous industries like mining, construction and manufacturing," he said.

Claims frequency is also down, he added: "From 1992 to 1995, the frequency of fatalities dropped by 50 percent or more in the District of Columbia, New Hampshire, Florida, Maine, New York, Louisiana, Idaho, Indiana, Nebraska, Delaware, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Mississippi. Massachusetts distinguishes itself with a 100 percent reduction in the frequency of fatalities during that time period."

The NCCI, headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., provides information to the voluntary and involuntary workers compensation marketplace.