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For immediate release: July 25, 2017

Northeast Ohio employers to receive $269 million in work comp rebates

BWC leader visits Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank for announcement


AKRON - Northeast Ohio employers will collect more than $269 million as part of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation's $1 billion rebate for Ohio employers, the agency's top executive announced Tuesday during a visit to the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.

BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison said private and public employers covered by BWC in Northeast Ohio will share $269,343,976.

"These rebates were made possible by our agency's strong investment returns, and they demonstrate our commitment to help Ohio businesses thrive and grow," Morrison said during a visit to the foodbank. "Businesses, schools and local governments should be on the look-out for their rebate checks, as they will be mailed, not transferred electronically."

Dan Flowers, the foodbank's president and CEO, and Rick Rabadow, Executive Vice President of the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce, accepted a ceremonial check totaling $50.4 million on behalf of all Summit County employers.

"We serve more than 263,000 people in need each year, families who have lost jobs and struggle to feed their children, and seniors who often must choose between buying a meal or their medication," said Flowers, whose agency received a check for $33,614. "As we often tell the community, a donation of just $1 will provide up to four meals, so we expect this rebate from BWC to make a significant impact on our neediest citizens, and we all appreciate it."

The remainder of the regional total will go to employers in Cuyahoga ($121.5 million), Geauga ($6.3 million), Lorain ($21.2 million), Medina ($13 million), Portage ($11.5 million), Stark ($33.5 million), Summit ($50.4 million) and Wayne ($11.7 million) counties.

As part of the rebate, BWC will launch a $44 million investment in new health and safety initiatives early next year to promote a healthy workforce and a culture of safety in every Ohio workplace. This includes a new wellness program for small employers and $2 million a year for two years to help fire departments invest in safety.

BWC started mailing rebate checks to employers July 10 and will continue doing so through early August. The checks equal roughly two-thirds of an employer's premium for the 2015 policy year. Click here for rebate totals by county for all of Ohio, and here for individual public employer amounts by county. Rebates for specific private employers are not public record.

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. Visit bwc.ohio.gov for more details and eligibility requirements.

Morrison 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," she said. "Safe workplaces mean fewer injuries, fewer medical claims and a stable workforce, all of which leads to a healthy bottom line for a business."

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Media Contacts:

Melissa Vince, 614-466-2956 or 614-202-2329, melissa.vince@bwc.state.oh.us

Tony Gottschlich, 614-644-4940 or 614-296-1734, anthony.gottschlich@bwc.state.oh.us

Established in 1912, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation provides workers' compensation insurance to 244,000 public and private Ohio employers. With nearly 1,900 employees and assets of approximately $27 billion, BWC is the largest state-run insurance system in the United States. Our mission is to protect Ohio's workers and employers through the prevention, care and management of workplace injuries and illnesses at fair rates. For more, visit www.bwc.ohio.gov.

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