The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is a really important aspect of our state’s workforce and business climate. Every year, it helps hundreds of thousands of employers across the state protect their employees, hardworking individuals just like you. If you or a family member gets injured while on the job, BWC is there to help you get healthy and return to work quickly.
Recently, BWC announced that for a third time in four years, it will return more than $1 billion to Ohio’s public and private employers. This is how the bureau operates: Ohio’s businesses and public entities pay premiums to BWC for safety services and care when workers get injured. As a result of an improved safety environment, fiscal responsibility, and higher investment returns, the State Insurance Fund has a net positive of more than $9 billion, allowing BWC to rightfully give those funds back to the companies who paid them in the first place.
Of course, only those who pay into the State Insurance Fund are eligible for the rebate, but approximately 200,000 employers will receive money back to reinvest into their businesses. The majority of companies will receive a refund equal to 66 percent of their premium for the 2016 policy year. These funds will impact every county in Ohio, including the 91st House District, where employers within Clinton, Highland, Pike, and Ross counties will altogether receive almost $13 million back.
But what does this mean for you? First, more money coming back to your local establishments is a boon to both the local and state economy, allowing business owners to put it back into the operations of the business, whether that be to give workers a bonus or buy a much-needed piece of equipment. These kinds of actions help companies and industries continue to thrive, contributing to Ohio’s strong business sector. Furthermore, these rebates are a sign of better workplace safety, which can only give you and your family peace of mind as you go into work each day.
This move by BWC is not only welcome news to employers, but it is good, responsible policy. After these rebates are dispersed, BWC will have saved Ohio businesses approximately $6.3 billion through a variety of means. Considering its financial strength, BWC’s position to give back to public and private employers will ultimately benefit the state as a whole, giving businesses back their earnings spent on premiums and creating greater job security for Ohioans.
Cliff Rosenberger is the Ohio House Speaker.