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Employers rewarded for reducing workplace accidents

States like Ohio have a workers' compensation system to protect the victims of workplace accidents and the families of victims. The state insurance system is critical in helping employers cover medical expenses and other injury-relate expenses when an employee is hurt on the job.

Ohio is rewarding its employers for participating in programs sponsored by the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (OBWC). Employers are eligible for a two percent premium rebate if they participate in one of the 78 safety councils offered. But Ohio understands that the key to workplace safety is prevention. Employers can also earn another two percent bonus for keeping the rate of workplace accidents low. The second bonus works if employers reduce the rate of accidents by 10 percent or if they maintain a rate of zero accidents.

In total, OBWC is handing out $9.4 million to state employers. Of that total, $5 million went to employers who participated in the safety councils and the remainder was for safety improvements or maintenance.

A recent accident demonstrates exactly why states advocate workplace safety and workers' compensation in place. A man died while working at a mill in North Carolina. The 61-year-old was a three-year employee of the mill and originally had the day off. His employers called him in to help out. Apparently the victim was pulled into an extractor, a machine acts similarly to a washing machine. By the time help responded, it was too late.

The family of the victim believes that the accident and death were preventable. The state is currently looking into the man's death and conducting an investigation.

Victims of workplace accidents can recover workers' compensation but the system also works when an employee is killed at during the course of employment. The family of the victim may benefit from a workers' compensation claim, which covers everything from medical expenses incurred to lost wages.

Source: Columbus CEO, "Workers' Comp rewarding employers through rebates," Dec. 23, 2013

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