DAYTON — A four-county region which includes Preble County will collect more than $63 million in rebate checks as part of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s $1 billion rebate for Ohio employers. Preble County employers should start seeing checks arrive in the mail this month — with a countywide total over $1.98 million.
The agency’s top executive, BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison made the announcement Monday, July 17, during a visit to the Dayton area.
Morrison said private and public employers covered by BWC in four Dayton-Springfield area counties — Montgomery, Greene, Clark and Preble — will share $63,309,655 in rebate checks going out this month.
“These rebates were made possible by our agency’s strong investment returns, and they demonstrate our commitment to help Ohio businesses thrive and grow,” Morrison said during a morning visit to Lion, a provider of protective apparel for fire and rescue workers at 7200 Poe Ave. “Businesses, schools and local governments should be on the look-out for their rebate checks, as they will be mailed, not transferred electronically.”
Several business leaders from the region joined Morrison as she presented a ceremonial check made out to Dayton-Springfield Area Employers.
“The return of these critical funds allows the Dayton area business community to invest more money in their local operations and their local workforce,” said Stephanie Precht, the Dayton Chamber’s director of public policy. “We appreciate BWC’s steadfast commitment to returning these funds and continuing to drive down employer costs.”
Other business leaders attending the announcement included Leslie Collins, executive director of the Preble County Chamber of Commerce; Alan Liming, president of the Xenia Chamber of Commerce, and Steve Brodsky, economic development director for the City of Xenia. Precht stood in for chamber President Phil Parker, who was out of town on business.
As part of the rebate, BWC will launch a $44 million investment in new health and safety initiatives early next year to promote a healthy workforce and a culture of safety in every Ohio workplace. This includes a new wellness program for small employers and $2 million a year for two years to help fire departments invest in safety.
“Firefighters walk into a toxic soup every day, and we have a responsibility as a society to do all we can to keep them safe, just like they do for us,” said Lion President Steve Schwartz, whose company supports numerous charities in the industry, including the Firefighter Cancer Support Network. “But many small fire departments are on extremely tight budgets, and they just don’t have the resources to purchase and maintain proper equipment and training. So we appreciate what BWC is doing here, and I know our first responders will, too.”
BWC started mailing rebate checks to employers July 10 and will continue doing so through early August. The checks equal roughly two-thirds of an employer’s premium for the 2015 policy year. Click here for rebate totals by county for all of Ohio, and here for individual public employer amounts by county. Rebates for specific private employers are not public record.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich proposed the rebate in March. It’s the third such rebate in the last four years, made possible by an improving safety climate, prudent fiscal management and strong investment returns. Visit bwc.ohio.gov for more details and eligibility requirements.
Morrison said employers are free to spend their rebates as they wish, but she hopes they will consider investing in workplace safety.
“We work with employers all over Ohio to prevent injuries and illness in the workplace, and they will tell you that investing in safety is a wise business decision,” she said. “Safe workplaces mean fewer injuries, fewer medical claims and a stable workforce, all of which leads to a healthy bottom line for a business.”