Concerns are growing over workers' comp system

The province's workers' compensation system is being reviewed amid concerns that claims are growing faster than revenues.

That word came today from the Workers Compensation Commission. It has the potential to impact ten's of thousands of Newfoundland workers.

Workers compensation isn't cheap. On a construction site, for every hundred dollars each worker earns; the employer pays anywhere from six-dollars to over nine-dollars.

Gene Greeley took over his father's trucking business. As an employer, he has no choice, but to pay into workers' compensation.

"It's costing me $2,500 a year per man. If I could go and buy coverage for employees, I would get a much better deal than under workmen's, guaranteed."

And as for workers? Richard Marsh says right now they have their own disability insurance.

"It's more reliable than workers compensation."

At the present time, workers compensation costs are rising much more quickly than its bank account. The minister of labour, Oliver Langdon says a complete review of the workers compensation system will be launched.

The government wants that review completed by mid-winter.

"The commission is facing very serious financial issues that require immediate attention," says Langdon.

The review will certainly pit injured workers against employers. The workers who feel that any solution will put the squeeze on them and their benefits and the employers who want to keep their compensation costs under control.