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WAGES AND COMPENSATION FOR ACCIDENTS PAID TO EMPLOYEES OF MARINE
ENGINE WORKS OF R. & W. HAWTHORX, LESLIE & CO., 1899 TO 1903—Concluded.
From this table it appears that outside workmen received on an average 24.2 per cent of the total compensation paid out during the five years, whereas they were paid but 17.5 per cent of the wages, a showing in favor of the works as maintained and supervised by the proprietors as compared with independent and uncontrolled working places. The compensation actually required to be paid by the compensation act-i. e., to inside workmen after a disability has continued for more than two weeks-called for an expenditure under this scheme of an amount equal to 0.25 per cent of the total wages, which is the nearest approach that can be made from this table to the cost to this plant of the compensation act of 1897.
The actual present amount of claims awarded is not the total cost of the act, since administration expenses are to be considered as well. These include the cost of preliminary and subsequent medical examinations, inspections, legal costs, and, in cases other than where a lump sum is paid in settlement, the maintenance of suitable arrangements for the payment of the weekly sums due beneficiaries under the act. Where insurance is taken out these costs devolve on the company, and one of the larger companies states that whereas, prior to the coming into force of the compensation act of 1897, their expenses were 29.8 per cent of the premiums received, they had advanced in 1904 to 37.8 per cent. The same company submitted data showing the increase in claims between the years 1901 and 1903 in six large and important trades, giving the percentages as follows: 48.00, 16.13, 32.20, 69.05, 8.72, and 74.00. This shows an increasing use of the law by possible claimants and also indicates the impossibility of determining for some time to come the definite ultimate cost of the law.
Though employers have the option of making lump-sum payments in commutation of weekly payments after such payments have continued for six months, no determination can be arrived at as yet as to the cumulative effect of the provisions as to permanent disability, since the number of such cases must necessarily increase with passing years. Nor can it be calculated to what extent employers will avail themselves of the commutation privilege or how far they will undertake to continue the weekly payments. In these respects the law is open to the charge of indefiniteness, so that neither employer nor employee can readily and accurately measure their rights and liabilities under it.
ACCIDENT INSURANCE RATES.
The liabilities and costs that are fixed by the legislation above considered devolve upon the employer alone, so far as the statutes themselves provide, though the provision as to schemes for contracting out permits arrangements by which the employees contribute to the funds from which compensation or other benefits are to be derived. Experience under the statutes and other accident data have established rates of employment or occupation risk in accordance with which insurance is offered by industrial companies, covering employees of certain classes at fixed rates, or all employees of an establishment at a blanket premium rate. Such rates must necessarily include operating costs and are therefore considerably in excess of the actual compensation cost, so far as payments to injured employees are concerned. On the recognized principle of a standardizing and distribution of the burden of risks by extensive cooperation, however, the employer finds it a matter of convenience to avail himself of the insurance offered by industrial companies.
That a large amount of such insurance is written for employers of all classes is shown by reports of factory inspectors, local agricultural societies, etc., in response to inquiries by a departmental committee appointed to consider the advisability of providing through the postoffice for insurance under the compensation acts.(a) Since the liability is measured by the amount of wages paid, the basis for computing insurance is the annual wage roll of the employer. The majority of exceptions in the matter of carrying insurance are to be found among small employers where the smaller risks, both financial and on account of the limited operations, are influential to dissuade from the taking out of insurance. Then, too, the companies fix a minimum premium for the writing of a policy, which, in cases of very small
a This committee felt unable to suggest for immediate adoption any scheme involving post-office action as principal or agent.
employers, is in excess of the actual pro rata cost of carrying insurance for their risks.
The following table of rates of premiums charged by one of the large insurance companies of England shows in the second column the scale in use under the compensation acts of 1897 and 1900. The last column, headed “Joint," covers in addition to the legal liability provided for by the lower rates the payment of half wages during the first fortnight. PREMIUM RATES CHARGED BY A BRITISH COMPANY FOR INSURANCE UNDER THE
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ACTS, 1897 AND 1900. (Source: Report of Departmental Committee Appointed to Inquire into the Law Relating to Compensation
for Injuries to Workmen, 1904.)
Premium rate per $100 of wages.
45 .75 .75 .75
1.00 .75 .50
.30 . 40
Agricultural implement makers.
.50 Bolt and nut factories.
.50 With machinery
.37) With machinery.
0.62) Brush factory: Without woodworking machinery..
.30 With woodworking machinery..
25 With machinery
.50 Cabinetmakers: Without machinery
45 With machinery.
0.75 Calico printers..
23 Carpenters: Without machinery.
45 With machinery..
a. 75 Carpet manufacturers.
.37) Carters and haulers..
.371 Cement factories: With quarrying..
a 1.00 Without quarrying..
.50 Chairmakers: Without machinery.
45 With machinery.
a. 75 Chemical manure works.
.62) Chocolate and cocoa manufacturers.
.30 Clock and watch manufacturers.
.30 Coach builders: Without machinery..
.373 With machinery..
0.623 Confectioners, with machinery Contractors.
(b) a And upward.
• Special, according to nature of contract.
PREMIUM RATES CHARGED BY A BRITISH COMPANY FOR INSURANCE UNDER THE
WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ACTS, 1897 AND 1900—Concluded.
Premium rate per $100 of wages.
Without woodworking machinery.
sives are used).
50 .50 75 75 .50 1.00 .50 .75
a 1. 25
a And upward.
0 Special quotations will be given.
Another table of rates furnished the same committee by a different company is as follows:
APPROXIMATE PREMIUM RATES FOR INSURANCE COVERING LIABILITY UNDER THE WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ACT, 1897, THE EMPLOYERS' LIABILITY ACT, 1860, AND AT COMMON LAW.
(Source: Report of Departmental Committee Appointed to Inquire into the Law Relating to compensation
for Injuries to Workmen, 1901.)
A number of the accident insurance companies have formed an association, all members of which charge the same rates. One of these companies supplied to the Wisconsin bureau of labor the following table of rates for the leading industries, the charges covering the liability of employers under the compensation act of 1906 and all other forms of legal liability:
PREMIUM RATES CHARGED BY COMPANIES IN THE ACCIDENT OFFICES ASSOCIATION FOR INSURANCE COVERING LIABILITY UNDER THE WORKMEN'S COMPENSATION ACT OF 1906, THE EMPLOYERS' LIABILITY ACT, 1880, TIE FATAL ACCI. DENTS ACT, 1846, AND THE COMMON LAW.
[Source: Thirteenth Biennial Report, Wisconsin Bureau of Labor, p. 49.)
Premium rate per $100 of wages.
From 75 cents to $2, according to (a) height of building, (6) use of mechan
ically driven machinery on job. Carpenters...
75 cents, no wood working machinery used; $2, including woodworking
$1 to $2.50, according to the height of the building. Sewer and road contractors.. 624 cents to $2.50, according to the depth and whether blasting or tunnel
ing requires to be done. Quarries...
$2 to $3, according to the class of stone or mineral. Stone and slate dressing yards. $2.50. Iron works..
624 cents to $2.50, according to the weight of the heaviest casting manufac
tured. Carting contractors and car- $1. Printers.
32} cents. Farmers.
50 cents. Colliers.
From $3.50 to $6, according to class of mine. Engineers.
The rates are too varied to be given in detail, but they run from 50 cents