Workers Comp Re-work

Oklahoma City, OK – Okla. commissioner wants workers comp overhaul

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello is asking lawmakers to overhaul the state's workers' compensation system.

Costello appeared Monday before the Oklahoma House's Committee on Insurance. He's proposing repeal of the state's existing Workers Compensation Court system and replacing it with an administrative system.

Costello says the objective is to increase benefits to injured workers while reducing insurance premium costs to businesses. He says the existing system results in lower levels of compensation for workers' injuries.

Costello says that in an administrative system, lawyers would only be involved in appeals of workers' comp decisions.

Costello says Oklahoma is one of only two states that still settle workers' compensation disputes in court. He says Oklahoma businesses pay an average premium of $1.43 per $100 in payroll compared to just 56-cents in Arkansas.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.