State workers' comp. claims down

SALEM — Despite a 30 percent increase in Oregon's workforce, the state's workers' compensation claims are down sharply since the system was overhauled two decades ago.

Workers' Compensation Division administrator John Shilts tells the Statesman-Journal employers are saving money but workplaces also are safer.

The number of accepted disability claims in calendar year 2011 was 18,691, about half the 35,857 accepted in 1990. Estimated nondisability claims (with no time loss from work) dropped from 102,200 in 1990 to 42,400 in 2011.

The 2011 numbers are slightly up from the previous year, which recorded 18,012 accepted claims and 41,900 estimated nondisability claims.

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