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For immediate release: Nov. 22, 2017

Safe workplaces another reason to be thankful in Ohio

Ohio's injury rate below national average, claims dip to record low

COLUMBUS - Ohioans can count safe workplaces as another reason to be thankful this week.

Results from a national study show nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in Ohio took a nine percent tumble last year and fell well below the national average for the fourth consecutive year. Ohio experienced 2.7 injuries per 100 full-time employees in 2016, bettering the national average of 3.2.

"The commitment of Ohio workers and employers to safety is impressive and clearly growing, making our state a leader in tackling workplace injuries and illnesses," said Sarah Morrison, Administrator/CEO of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC). "We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with employers and workers to build a culture of safety across the state."

The labor statistics show an injury rate among Ohio private employers at 2.7 per 100 workers, below the national average of 2.9. A 6.1 percent decline in total private sector injuries from 2015 means 17 fewer Ohio workers were injured each day in 2016 than in the previous year.

Ohio public sector employees also outperformed their peers across the nation. Rates for public employers were 3.1 injuries per 100 workers, compared to a national average of 4.7.

The results coincide with an overall drop in workplace injury claims in the BWC system. There were 87,883 allowed claims for Ohio employers insured by BWC in 2016, a 16.8 percent drop from 2010. This is the lowest number of claims dating back to at least 1997, when there were more than 277,000 claims.

BWC attributes the decline to a number of factors, including the agency's efforts to promote safe and healthy workplaces, increased safety funding and more employers putting safety education and resources to work. From 2010 through 2015, BWC's Division of Safety & Hygiene saw a 71 percent increase in the number of employers using its safety programs and services.

The BLS survey can be found here.

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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