Dear Editor,

As an employer, the last thing I want to see happen at Coots Materials Co. is an employee injured on the job. The majority of our nearly 40 employees attend an 8 hour safety class annually. We also have daily work place exams,  equipment exams, and are inspected by the Mining Safety Health Administration twice a year. They spend a minimum of one day at each mining number we have. That amounts to at least 14 hours of inspections annually. The costs of compliance is well over $20,000 annually. Also, Coots Materials Co. spends a large amount of money on safety to curb accidents before they happen.

Why should my business pay the second highest work comp rate in this region? The money spent on work comp could be going to higher wages and benefits for employees, or improvements to my company. I am proud of the wages and benefits my company provides for our employees. There is no reason Iowa should be the Cadillac of work comp. Iowa needs to wake up and not penalize business for locating in Iowa. Work comp rates are something any company looking to locate in this State will look at. Why not be competitive??Iowa needs to be a place that has more reasons to locate here instead of reasons not to locate here.

The following is from the Associated General Contractors of Iowa:

Background

Since 1913, Iowa’s workers’ compensation system has been based on creating balance between employees’ needs for medical care for injuries occurring in the workplace, employees’ needs for replacement income while off of work, and employers seeking a predictable and insurable cost structure to accommodate employees’ needs.

Iowa’s system provides injured workers the richest benefits in the country.

Highest benefits paid in the country -$1,6281

Surrounding States:

IL-$1,398.23

MO-$886.92

NE-$785

SD-$733

MN-$1,008.78

WI-$936

· Iowa has second highest rate per $100 of payroll in region. Illinois is higher.

· In ten years, Iowa’s ranking in the cost of premiums has gone from 5th lowest in 2006 to 24th highest in total premiums for workers’ compensation insurance according to the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate Ranking 2.

· Iowa has a net 7.6 percent increase in premiums over a five year average from 2012-2016.3

1 National Academy of Social Insurance. October 2016.

2 2016 Oregon Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate Rating. Department of Consumer and Business Services. October 2016.

3 2016 Oregon Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate Ranking.

Dave Coots

Coots Materials Co.

Vinton