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WSI: Premiums steady, claims down

03037 WSI and slowdown                         2-3-16 ddt

The head of North Dakota’s workers compensation agency says the current slowdown in the oil industry is a mixed bag.

Bryan Klipfel is the director of Workforce Safety and Insurance. He says in the past 5 years, the amount of premium dollars collected from North Dakota businesses more than doubled.

"They're staying pretty much at that same level," Klipfel said. "We expect those premium dollars to go down a little bit."

Klipfel said the number of new businesses coming to North Dakota has started to drop a little bit. At the same time, he said the number of claims has been reduced substantially in the past few years.

"We used to be at about 26,300," said Klipfel. "This year, we're expected to be at about 22,400 -- almost a 4000 reduction in filed claims.  To me, that's 4000 less people hurt on the job -- and that's really a positive thing."

Klipfel says some of it may be a loss of workers in the state's oil patch -- but he also attributes it to an added focus on safety in the workplace.

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