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New Workers Comp director hired

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – The North Dakota Workers Compensation Bureau has a new director.

Brent Edison had been interim director since July, and before that, he was a vice-president and in the legal department for Workers Compensation.

Edison says he believes Workers Comp is doing very well, compared with other states.

"We're seeing in other states -- they've had some premium increases, they've had some fund financial problems. In North Dakota, we've been fortunate that we've been able to have some premium rate decreases. We've been able to have increases in benefits for injured workers. And we've been able to continue on that path. Also, if you look at our performance measures, our innovations, some of the things we do -- we find that we stack up very well against other state organizations and private carriers."

Edison says the Bureau has been able to cut down on the number of serious injuries on the job, and has been able to mediate most disputes over claims. And he says injured workers are being treated well.

"We just don't get the calls from irate folks complaining about things. We make decisions that are sometimes unpopular with people. They affect people's lives. We can't keep everybody happy all the time. But we've seen, as far as our customer satisfaction surveys that we do, a lot of improvement there."

But Edison says the Bureau can't rest on its laurels -- and he wants Workers Comp to continue to improve its services to both workers and employers.

Edison will be paid 110-thousand dollars.