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Rebate program focuses on workplace safety and economic growth

Everyone is hopeful that the economy is on its way toward recovery. And it's a good sign when investors start putting money back into the economy. The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation is no exception to this and has created a three-part plan to enable the BWC to assist with the state's economic growth and be a partner for growth.

This is good news for Ohio. Ohio's governor just approved the BWC's rebate plan, which is Step One. The rebate plan should create a nearly $160 million cash infusion for the state. Checks will soon be mailed out to businesses and local governments.

Step Two is good news for those in the workforce. The plan is to triple the safety-grant program, which builds on the BWC's effort to prevent accidents in the workplace. BWC hopes to improve the care that injured workers receive all while keeping costs down for employers. The wellness grant programs are especially effective and employers and companies who take advantage of these grants see a significant drop in the amount of filed claims.

The final step, Step Three, will encourage the state legislature to approve new BWC billing practices.

According to the Administrator and CEO of the BWC, investments like this and creating safe workplaces allow the BWC assets to grow and reduce the public-employer rates for workers' compensation. The rates are currently at a 30-year low. Having assets in the coffers also helps pay for future claims and costs.

Anyone who is injured at work or during the course of work can be eligible for workers' comp. Luckily, these claims cover payments for medical expenses and any necessary time off of work. But as anyone who has dealt with a workplace injury can tell you, preventing these workplace accidents in the first place is the key. Not only is it the right thing for an employer to do, but creating a safe working environment lowers the costs of workers' compensation in the long run.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Workers' Comp making changes to help out state," Steve Buehrer, June 13, 2013

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