Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Are On-the-Job Injuries Rising?

Magazine article Occupational Hazards

Are On-the-Job Injuries Rising?

Article excerpt

Insurance rates and the number of on-the-job injuries will rise, and the way employers approach how to insure their workers will change, predicts Jeffrey Berkman, M.D., CEO of Industrial Health Care, a Connecticut-based occupational health care services provider.

"The insurance industry is cyclical, and we'll see rates start to rise in 2000," Berkman said. "In Connecticut and many other states, we've seen insurance premiums dip nearly 50 percent in the past six years. It's now gotten to the point where insurance companies are losing money and want to get profits back to where they were."

Berkman believes the rise in rates will force employers to rethink the way they approach insuring their employees. He predicts many will bypass managed care to partner up with occupational health companies for on-the-job injuries. "Eighty-five percent of all managed care costs are unnecessary," he contends. "Employers are starting to realize they can make better use of their dollars elsewhere."

While the number of workplace injuries is at an all-time low, Berkman predicts the number will start creeping up this year. …

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