A rate cut being proposed for Ohio's workers' compensation program isn't much, but every little bit helps businesses struggling to remain competitive. Bureau of Workers' Compensation officials should approve the change.
Suggested by the state Industrial Commission, the minor cuts involve something called the "administration rate," which is just part of what businesses and government bodies pay for workers' compensation coverage. Proceeds from the charge are used to cover the cost of settling workers' compensation disputes.
Under the commission's proposal, the percentage of payroll paid for the administrative rate would decrease from the current 2.1 percent to 2.03 percent for private businesses. On the other hand, it would increase slightly for state agencies.
While seven one-hundredths of a percent doesn't sound like much, the savings could help some businesses. For a company with a $1 million payroll, the change would save $700 a year. That is money that could be invested in new equipment to make a firm's employees more productive, and their jobs more secure.
At the same time, state officials may want to look into why it apparently costs less to handle disputes involving workers' compensation at private companies than at state agencies. Are public employees more contentious?
Again, the change would not result in a windfall for anyone involved. At least it would mean sending less, not more, money to Columbus. The Workers' Compensation board should approve it.