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For immediate release: Aug. 8, 2017
$8.3 million in workers' comp rebate checks headed to Lawrence and Scioto counties
COLUMBUS - Private and public employers in Lawrence and Scioto counties will collect $8.3 million in rebates from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC), the agency's top executive announced Tuesday during a visit to southern Ohio.
BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison said employers in Lawrence County will collect $2.6 million in rebate checks, while employers in Scioto County will collect $5.7 million, thanks in part to BWC's strong investment returns. At stops in both counties, Morrison encouraged business leaders to invest their rebates 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," Morrison said during a morning visit to the Greater Lawrence County Area 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 local business leaders and Dr. Bill Dingus, the chamber"s executive director.
"This rebate is an excellent way to support business, and we know it will help revitalize our community," Dingus said. "Our region has had a tough time economically, so we appreciate everything BWC is doing to reduce employer costs and help businesses stay healthy so they can succeed."
Morrison also met with business leaders at the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce Tuesday afternoon, where she presented a ceremonial check for $5,671,961.95.
"Putting $5.7 million into the hands of our local businesses will have a tremendous economic impact," said Lisa Carver, the Portsmouth chamber's executive director. "Most importantly, an investment in safe and healthy employees directly serves to strengthen our workforce and to improve development efforts."
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, 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 said. "And when the economy is healthy, we all benefit."
BWC began mailing rebate checks July 11 and expects all checks to have been distributed by this week.
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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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