For immediate release: July 11, 2017
$15 million in workers' comp rebate checks headed to southern Ohio employers
GALLIPOLIS - Employers in five southern Ohio counties will collect nearly $15 million in rebates from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) in checks the agency began mailing this week.
BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison, in Gallipolis today, said employers are free to spend their rebates as they wish, but she hopes they will consider investing in workplace safety.
"We work with employers all over Ohio to prevent injuries and illness in the workplace, and they will tell you that investing in safety is a wise business decision," said Morrison, speaking at the Gallia County Chamber of Commerce. "Safe workplaces mean fewer injuries, fewer medical claims and a stable workforce, all of which leads to a healthy bottom line for a business."
That was echoed by Josh Smith, the human resources manager for the ElectroCraft company, which Morrison toured prior to her chamber visit.
"We start every day by telling our team to have a safe and productive day," Smith said. "This is only achievable because of the people we have and the support we receive from BWC."
Morrison was joined by local businesses and members of the chamber's board of directors who accepted a $1.8 million check on behalf of all Gallia County employers.
Rebates for other counties in the region include:
- Athens County: $2.9 million
- Jackson County: $3.5 million
- Vinton County: $561,000
- Washington County: $6.2 million
Click here for rebate totals by county, and here for individual public employer amounts by county. Rebates for specific private employers are not public record.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich proposed a $1 billion rebate in March for employers participating in the BWC system. It is the third such rebate in the last four years and made possible by an improving safety climate, prudent fiscal management and strong investment returns. The plan to distribute rebates to more than 200,000 Ohio employers during the month of July was approved by BWC's Board of Directors in April. Visit bwc.ohio.gov for more details and eligibility requirements.
The plan also includes a $44 million investment in new health and safety initiatives to promote a healthy workforce and a culture of safety in every Ohio workplace. This includes a new wellness program for small employers, funding for programs to help firefighters and those who work with children and adults with disabilities, and an education campaign to address common injuries at work and in the home.
"A healthy economy depends on a strong and healthy workforce," Morrison continued. "And when the economy is healthy, we all benefit."
BWC began mailing rebate checks Monday and expects all checks to be distributed by early August.
Follow BWC on Twitter.
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