COLUMBUS – Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer announced that thousands of Ohio employers are receiving more than $7.8 million in savings for their commitment to workplace safety and injury prevention as members of one of Ohio’s 83 safety councils. The councils work to increase safety awareness in the workplace and educate businesses on occupational safety and health issues.
“Safety councils provide a forum where Ohio employers can receive important safety and accident prevention education and training that they can apply in their workplaces,” Buehrer said. “I encourage more employers to join a council and make the safety of their workers a priority by taking a proactive approach to injury and accident prevention. They’ll find the rebates are just one small perk of the program – the prevention of costly accidents supports greater productivity and a competitive edge.”
Sponsored by BWC’s Division of Safety and Hygiene, safety councils are organized across the state by local businesses to inform participants of new safety standards and regulations, products and services, and provide a thorough knowledge of topics, including occupational safety and health, workers’ compensation and risk management education.
Employers can earn a two-percent premium participation rebate, and an additional two-percent performance bonus for reducing either frequency or severity of workplace accidents by 10-percent, or with maintenance at zero. 2,112 employers are sharing $4.7 million in a participation rebate and 2,594 employers will receive a total of $3.1 million in performance bonuses.
Ohio’s increased emphasis on safety is reflected in recent figures released by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics that place Ohio’s injury rate below the national average. Ohio’s 2014 injury rate is 2.9 injuries per 100 workers, compared to a national average of 3.4 injuries per 100 workers. Ohio’s rate is lower than all its neighboring states including Michigan (3.7), Indiana (4.0), Kentucky (3.8), West Virginia (4.1) and Pennsylvania (3.6). In addition, BWC’s approved injury claims have dropped more than 10 percent, from 105,000 to 94,000, over the past five years.