The Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau (PCRB) introduced major changes to the workers’ compensation Experience Modifier calculation, which will take effect from April 1, 2024. These changes are significant for employers, marking the first substantial update since 2004.
Impacting 60,000-plus businesses with experience mods in Pennsylvania, some credit modifiers will transition to surcharge modifiers under the new system. In short, best-performing businesses can anticipate lower modifiers, while poorer performers will see higher modifiers. Changes will amplify the financial implications of employee injuries on mods.
Experience Modifiers use historical employee injury data to forecast future risks and adjust workers’ compensation premiums accordingly. Until now, the modifier calculation included all employee injury costs up to $42,500, with annual modifier fluctuations capped at 25 percent. However, the PCRB’s new plan aims to reflect each business’s loss ratio more accurately —the balance between injury costs and paid premiums.
Key changes include:
- Lowering the premium threshold for modifier eligibility from $10,000 to $5,000 premium makes 21,000-plus additional businesses eligible for experience rating.
- The injury cap will now be variable, tied to an employer’s size (expected losses), ranging from $10,000 to $300,000 caps instead of the flat $42,500. This ensures a modifier that better corresponds to an employer’s actual injury history.
- Effective April 1, 2026, the PCRB will revise swing limits by eliminating the cap on decreases while setting a new added 40-percent cap on increases alongside a unique maximum modification formula for each business. This means a business’s modifier can only rise by 40 percent or up to its calculated maximum, whichever is lower.
It’s essential for businesses to stay informed and consult with a Certified WorkComp Advisor to understand these changes and strive for the lowest possible mod. This proactive approach is critical to managing Pennsylvania’s new landscape of workers’ compensation costs.
Go to PremiumReductionCenter.com/Learning-Center to download a Detailed Summary of the changes that will affect your business.
is the chief risk officer and executive partner of the Duncan
Financial Group, a faculty member of the Institute of
WorkComp Professionals, and author of the Amazon No. 1
international best-selling books — The Laws of Insurance
Attraction, Insured to Fail, and Turning Premiums Into
Profits, as well as Stop Being Frustrated & Overcharged
Year After Year (By Your Workers’ Compensation
Program). For more information, visit duncangrp.com.
OSHA Shares Tips for Working Safely in Cold Weather
Winter weather can expose outdoor workers to frostbite, hypothermia and cold stress, all of which can be dangerous. It is important to know the wind chill temperature to better prepare and perform the work safely.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), employers should share the following work practices with employees to keep them safe in cold weather:
- Know the symptoms of cold stress; reddening skin, tingling, pain, swelling, leg cramps, numbness and blisters.
- Dress properly; wear at least three layers of loose-fitting clothing, insulated gloves and boots, and cover your head.
- Monitor physical condition and that of your co-workers.
• Stay dry and pack extra clothes; moisture can increase heat loss from the body.
• Take frequent breaks in warm, dry areas.
- Drink warm liquids.
For more safety tips, visit OSHA’s Winter Weather page at osha.gov/winter-weather.
Survey Reveals Top Priorities for HR Leaders in 2024
Leader and manager development, and organizational culture are the top priorities for HR leaders for 2024, according to a survey by Gartner, Inc.
The Gartner survey of 520 HR leaders in July 2023 found the top five organizational priorities for HR leaders next year include:
• Leader and manager development
• Organizational culture
• HR technology
• Change management
• Career management and mobility
“In 2024, the HR function will be impacted by several key trends: an unsettled employee-employer relationship, persistent skills shortage, transformative technology innovations and pressure to achieve operational efficiencies,” said Mark Whittle, vice president of advisory in the Gartner HR practice.