BWC board cuts premium rates for public employers
11th reduction for cities, schools and other local governments since 2009
BWC will reduce premium rates for public employers an average of 10% next year, saving counties, cities and school districts $17.8 million over this year’s premiums.
BWC’s Board of Directors approved the reduction Aug. 23 at its monthly meeting. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine immediately praised the move.
“I applaud BWC for this latest rate reduction, which will free up funds for employers to invest in their communities and help our economy,” said Governor DeWine. “This is good news for all of Ohio.”
Thanks largely to declining injury claims and relatively low medical inflation costs, approximately 3,700 school districts, cities and other local government employers will benefit from the reduction.
The reduction follows a 20% rate reduction for private employers that went into effect July 1. It also follows the board’s approval in June to send $1.5 billion in agency revenue to employers in September because of strong investment returns, falling claims and other savings.
The reduction — the agency’s 11th for public employers since 2009 and equal to the third largest since 1986 — will be effective Jan. 1, 2020. It follows a 12% rate reduction for public employers that went into effect Jan. 1 this year.
The reduction represents a statewide average. The actual premium change for an individual public entity will differ based on several factors, including employer type or classification, recent claims history, and their participation in BWC rate discount programs.
BWC increases prize amounts for Safety Innovation Awards
Agency offers $10,000 for top prize, up from $6,000
BWC is increasing the prize amounts for its 2020 Safety Innovation Awards to encourage participation and creative solutions to workplace safety hazards
We have bumped the top award to $10,000, up from $6,000. Second place will receive $6,000 (up from $4,000) and third place $4,000 (up from $3,000). The honorable mention prize remains $1,500.
“We offer this program to give innovative employers the credit and recognition they deserve for finding new and better ways to reduce risks and protect their workforce,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud. “Increasing the cash awards reinforces our commitment to spotlighting the ingenuity of Ohio employers and their dedication to keeping workers safe on the job.”
BWC’s Safety Innovation Awards recognize employers for innovative and creative solutions they have developed to reduce the risk of injuries and illnesses in their workplace. Innovations can include advanced technologies, creative use of existing equipment, or unique processes and practices.
In 2016, for example, a Mercer County company captured first place with a device it developed for loading hogs into a trailer with minimal stress to the hogs and potential for injury to workers. Last year, the Springfield company Navistar captured first place with a robotic system that minimized worker exposure to a particularly strenuous procedure involved in the tearing down and welding of truck cabs.
The 2020 winners will be announced from a group of finalists at BWC’s annual Ohio Safety Congress & Expo scheduled for March 11-13, 2020, in Columbus.
More information and an online application are available here. The application deadline is Sept. 30, 2019.
Policy Activity Rebate
We have extended the Policy Activity Rebate (PAR) pilot program for a second year.
PAR is an employer-controlled, activity-based incentive program that raises employers' awareness and increases understanding of some of the most important aspects of workers' compensation, including safety, claims, and policy management.
PAR is a customizable plan that allows employers to choose from 33 activities to earn a premium rebate. Employers must complete 11 credits during the enrolled policy year to earn a 50% premium rebate, up to $2,000.
Private employers can enroll now through Jan. 31, 2020. Public employer enrollment begins Dec. 1, 2019.
Visit our Policy Activity Rebate webpage for additional information.
Help Ohio understand your workforce needs
InnovateOhio and the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation has launched a new survey tool for Ohio businesses to gather feedback ahead of the creation of the state’s new In-Demand Jobs list.
Strong participation is crucial to our success — and Governor DeWine is counting on you to help!
The survey is open through September and can be found at indemand.ohio.gov.
Survey results inform the in-demand jobs list that will be published at the end of 2019, helping training providers, educators, and workforce professionals learn the future hiring needs of Ohio employers.