The past two decades have witnessed a sea change in the way policy makers think about
workers' compensation. Improvements in state workers' compensation programs, achieved in the mid-1970s, contributed to the runaway costs experienced in the 1980s. Rising costs to employers in turn have led to demands for reform and cost containment, threatening even to reduce the benefits for injured workers. Now a promising new approach to the problem, which would eliminate the need for contentious reform by enabling firms to reduce injuries and control their own costs, has been demonstrated by an Upjohn Institute study.