Rising medical costs are driving up workers’ compensation costs despite the success of safety programs in reducing the frequency and severity of construction accidents.
“There are a number of competing factors affecting rates,” says Mary Ann Krautheim, client strategy officer for Aon Risk Services’ Construction Services Group, Boston. Incident rates are dropping because of increased safety measures, as well as a drop in the labor force due to the recession. Lost-time payments are declining, but the cost of claims is rising. “Medical inflation is countering the positive trends,” Krautheim says. “So it’s a push-pull relationship.”