By Ciara Conley
On Aug. 8, Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison announced that public and private employers in Scioto County will collect $5.7 million, thanks in part to BWC’s strong investment returns.
“Over the last several years we’ve focused a lot on making sure that we are making safety at the front of the mind of our employers, that we’re taking care of our workers and that when workers do get injured, we’re doing everything we can to make sure they can get back to work by making sure they get the care and treatment that they need,” said Morrison.
Morrison met with business leaders at the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce Tuesday afternoon, where she presented a ceremonial check for $5,671,961.95.
“Putting $5.7 million into the hands of our local businesses will have a tremendous economic impact,” said Lisa Carver, the Portsmouth chamber’s executive director. “Most importantly, an investment in safe and healthy employees directly serves to strengthen our workforce and to improve development efforts.”
Ohio Gov. John Kasich proposed a $1 billion rebate in March for employers participating in the BWC system. It is the third such rebate in the last four years, made possible by an improving safety climate, prudent fiscal management and strong investment returns.
“First of it’s a breath of fresh air to be working with folks who know what a local business needs,” said Scott Taylor.
Taylor is the President of Tri-America Contractors, located in Wheelersburg.
“For us, the rebate is going to allow us to develop programs for safety for our employees. Those are things that we wouldn’t be able to do without this rebate, it’s going to be really good for our business and good for the safety of our workers,” Taylor said.
The plan also includes a $44 million investment in new health and safety initiatives to promote a healthy workforce and a culture of safety in every Ohio workplace. This includes a new wellness program for small employers.
“When employees are healthy, there’s less absenteeism in the workplace, they’re less likely to be injured and if an injury does occur, they can heal quickly and come back to work faster,” said Morrison.
BWC began mailing rebate checks July 11 and expects all checks to have been distributed by this week.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-353-3101 ext. 1932