The summer of 2018 brought with it another boost to Ohio’s economy. That boost came from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. For the fourth time since 2013, the agency is returning $1.5 billion in premiums to Ohio’s private and public employers. This year’s rebate is the largest in 20 years and is due to falling claims, wise investments, and smart business decisions.
This latest rebate brings the total BWC has saved employers since 2011 to $8 billion. Returning $8 billion to Ohio’s economy has a real impact in communities across the state and right here in Richland County. This year Richland County is in line for more than $7.8 million in rebates—over $6.5 million will go back to our private sector businesses and more than $1.3 million to our public sector employers. This is great news.
Many eligible employers have already received their rebate checks which should equal approximately 85 percent of their premiums paid for the policy year ending June 30, 2017 (calendar year 2016 for public employers). Employers who participate in the Group Retrospective Program will see rebate checks in October. Please check your mail and contact BWC or me if you did not receive your rebate.
While outstanding investment returns and responsible leadership at BWC account for some of the agency’s successes, Ohio employers and workers deserve a lot of credit. With the BWC at the helm, ever improving health and safety standards are being implemented at every workplace. As a result, injury claims are falling—there were approximately 86,000 new claims allowed in fiscal year 2017, down from 104,000 in 2010.
Every Ohioan has a stake in safe workplaces. Everyone wants their families, friends, and neighbors to return home safely every night. The BWC helps employers and workers do just that with an impressive offering of nationally recognized safety programs and services which will protect workers, reduce claims, and lower rates. I encourage all employers to contact the BWC’s safety professionals. They will offer safety advice and tips tailored to your company and can help you with grants to purchase safety equipment. You should also consider investing some of those rebate dollars in additional safety training and equipment for your workforce.
The goal of the BWC is to become a first class workers’ compensation carrier. I believe they are making great strides toward that goal that we can all see and appreciate. Efficient operations, billions returned to Ohio employers, and effective safety programs are a winning combination for Richland County and the entire state.