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Utica's Comp Costs Grow 61% in Four Years

 Utica's Comp Costs Grow 61% in 4 Years, Leaders Look for Solutions:



The city of Utica, New York, is looking for ways to reduce its workers' compensation costs after a 61% increase in the past four years.


The city's estimated costs for workers' compensation in the 2014-15 fiscal year are $1.17 million, compared with about $725,000 during the 2011-12 fiscal year, according to a Wednesday article in the Utica Observer- Dispatch.


Utica participates in Oneida County's workers' compensation plan. Mike Lally, the workers' compensation administrator for Oneida County, told the newspaper that the city's accident frequency has been on the rise since 2010. He also pointed to a large public works department and an aging workforce as possible reasons for the rise.


In response, city officials have begun requiring employees returning to work after an injury to see an occupational or physical therapist to determine their fitness for duty.


Meanwhile, the former mayor of Rome, a city about 17 miles northwest of Utica, said that the municipality saved substantially on workers' compensation costs after it dropped out of the county plan and became self-insured.


Utica officials are planning on workers' compensation costs of about $1.2 million in the next fiscal year, according to the article.

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