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For immediate release: July 12, 2017
$35 million in workers' comp rebate checks headed to East Central Ohio employers
NEWARK - Employers in the East Central Ohio region will collect nearly $35 million in rebates from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) in checks that BWC began mailing this week.
BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison, in Newark 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 Licking 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."
Morrison was joined by Licking County Chamber President Jennifer McDonald, who accepted a ceremonial check on behalf of employers in the entire region, which includes Coshocton ($2.3 million), Fairfield ($8.1 million), Knox ($4.2 million), Licking ($11 million), Muskingum ($7 million) and Perry ($2 million) counties.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich proposed the rebate in March. It's the third such rebate in the last four years, 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.
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