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For immediate release: May 22, 2014

Private employer workers' comp rates continue to fall

Combined four-year collections down $409 million

COLUMBUS - Ohio private employers will again benefit from lower overall workers' compensation base-rates with a 6.3% reduction that will take effect July 1. The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors today approved the reduction, which will bring combined collections over the last four years down by $409 million.

"Our goal over the last four years has been to support economic growth by stabilizing premiums and lowering costs for Ohio employers," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "We're pleased our strong financial position is supporting lower rates so businesses can prosper while protecting Ohio's workers so they can return home safely to their families each evening."

Download an audio clip of Buehrer's comments here.

Private employers previously benefited from a 4% rate decrease in 2011, no change in 2012 and a reduction of 2.1% last year. The actual premium paid by individual private employers depends on a number of factors, including the expected future costs in their industry segment, their recent claims history, and their participation in various discount and savings programs.

BWC offers a number of safety services that can help employers protect their workforce and avoid injuries and costs that can impact their rates, including the popular Safety Intervention Grant Program. Abe Al-Tarawneh, Superintendent of BWC's Division of Safety and Hygiene, reported on the program during the yesterday's Medical Services and Safety Committee meeting. Al-Tarawneh reported BWC approved 447 grants totaling more than $12 million since July 1, 2013. The most awarded annually during the life of the 15-year old program, which was expanded last year as part of the Billion Back plan, was previously $5 million.

"Ohio employers are recognizing the benefits of this program and all of BWC's safety services, as well as the great value in making workplace safety a priority," added Buehrer.

Employers can learn more about the safety grant program here, and are encouraged to visit bwc.ohio.gov to learn about all BWC programs and services that can assist in lowering workers' comp costs by making workplace safety improvements. The 2014-2015 Safety Services Catalog provides a complete guide to BWC safety training and resources.

The next meeting of the BWC Board of Directors is scheduled for Thursday, June 19, 2014.

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