When an expense rises substantially, it is a natural reaction to do something about it, to look into it and try to address it. That is what the New Baden Village Board needs to do concerning its workers compensation costs.
According to the December edition of the “New Baden News,” a village government-based (and therefore whitewashed) compilation of information, workers compensation costs have gone up close to 25 per cent in the past year.
This, in turn, according to the subjectively written newsletter, represents a substantial part of the reason the village tax levy has been increased.
Workers compensation involves the costs of making sure employees who are hurt on the job do not suffer great financial hardship while being unable to perform their duties. No one can deny them this right.
What the village can do, however, and should be doing is shopping around for a more reasonable, less costly workers compensation coverage package. With the economy having been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, certainly there are some carriers out there who would be willing to submit competitive bids to the village for performing this service.
Secondly, workers compensation coverage, like any insurance, will go up on the basis of claims paid or, conversely, should decrease when there are fewer or no claims for such coverage submitted.
To address this aspect of workers compensation, many government units and private sector employers are encouraged to implement comprehensive safety training programs for their employees.
The incentive in this regard is based on the concept that if employees are trained to exercise more care in performing their duties, they will experience fewer injury accidents, leading to a lower number of workers compensation claims. It follows that fewer claims mean less cost for the coverage.
Mayoral candidate Rafael Him says this is something he would strongly favor considering and looking into if he were elected, not only to ensure the safety and well-being of village employees but also to hold down expenses which would help keep taxes lower.
BY CALEB ALEXANDER