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Rail News: Safety

LA MTA cuts workers' compensation costs


During fiscal-year 2004’s fourth quarter, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA MTA) had 25 percent fewer workers’ compensation claims compared with the same 2003 period.

Since 2001, the authority has used the DuPont Safety Resources to train managers, supervisors and staff on how to create a safer environment for employees and the public. Approximately 94 percent of LA MTA employees have received the training.

"Metro continues to aggressively pursue fraudulent claims, return injured workers back to work faster, and improve employee behavior and the work environment with respect to safety," said Chairman Frank Roberts in a prepared statement.

Despite fewer claims, LA MTA officials are disappointed they aren’t seeing a comparable reduction in workers’ compensation expenses because of increasing medical costs and state-mandated workers’ compensation disability increases. In 2003, workers’ compensation expenses totaled almost $51 million; in 2004, officials estimate expenses will reach $48 million, only a 5 percent decline.