BWC Delivers $50M in Rebates to Valley Employers

LEETONIA, Ohio – Employers in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties should see more than $50 million in rebates from the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation this year, a portion of the $1 billion the agency will return to Ohio employers, officials said Tuesday.

“We’ve been working really hard to have good relationships and partnerships with our public and private employers across the state of Ohio,” said BWC administrator and CEO Sarah Morrison during a check presentation at Humtown Products’ 3-D printing center in World Trade Park.

The agency has made it a priority to nurture the culture of safety across the state, Morrison said, with a focus on returning injured workers to work faster and making sound investments with the premiums employers pay BWC.

“We’ve been very prudent and conservative as we’ve invested the dollars, and over the last four years, we’ve averaged over 7% return on our investments,” she said. “That puts us in the great position that we’re in now that we’re able to give $1 billion back to Ohio employers.”

It is the third time in four years that the BWC has paid out at least $1 billion to Ohio’s public and private sector employers, Morrison said. About 180,000 businesses and organizations across Ohio are eligible for a rebate this year.

Employers in Mahoning County will receive a combined $27.5 million in BWC rebates, Trumbull County $16.2 million and Columbiana County employers $8.4 million.

Employers in Ashtabula County, which is outside the Mahoning Valley, should receive about $7.7 million this year, Morrison said.

The last round of checks were mailed last week, the BWC CEO added.

Humtown President Mark Lamoncha, Columbiana County Commissioner Mike Halleck, and Deann Davis of the Columbiana Area Chamber of Commerce accepted a ceremonial check on behalf of Columbiana County at Humtown.

“What we’re encouraging employers to do with their rebate check is to invest in safety,” Morrison said. Her agency would continue its $15 million grant program for employers that want to develop new safety programs or invest in new safety equipment, she said, and next year roll out a new wellness program for those organizations with 50 or fewer employees.

This would give small-employers access to smoking cessation programs and biometric screening services, Morrison said.

Lamoncha said his company sets aside two weeks to devote to safety and teamwork. “We continue to raise awareness inside of ourselves and the result of it is low cost and no accidents,” he said.

Employers in Ohio take safety seriously, Morrison said, and it’s the agency’s intention to ensure a strong, stable workforce through its relationship with the public and private sectors.

“It really has been a good partnership,” she said. “We’re really getting people thinking about investing in their workplaces whether it’s with their own dollars or our safety grants. We want everybody to go home safely at the end of their workday.”

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