Budget Cuts Threaten Oregon Worker
Health and Safety Programs...

A loss of revenue threatens to unravel critical programs for workers' health and safety in the workplace. These programs are funded by employer-paid assessments, computed as a percentage of workers' compensation premiums.

As premiums have declined so have revenues from these assessments. This has created a $15 million shortfall for the Workers' Compensation Division (WCD).

As a result of this shortfall, the WCD has prepared a list of potential cuts including reducing worksite modification and educational consultations for the Employer at Injury Program. These include:

  1. Eliminating six OR-OSHA consultants and six compliance officers in the workplace training and education program, known as CROET, at Oregon Health Sciences University.

  2. Eliminating the Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Insurance Division.

  3. Eliminating the OR-OSHA Worksite Redesign Program.

  4. Reducing WCD investigation staff.

  5. Eliminating the referral of Workers' Comp. contested cases to the Central Hearings Panel.

The Management-Labor Advisory Committee meets occasionally to discuss workers' compensation issues. These meetings are usually held in Room 260 at the Labor and Industries Building in Salem. More information is at http://www.cbs.state.or.us/external/mlac/.