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Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation program proposal

Workplace accidents can have a major impact on workers and their families. Often, workers need time away from their jobs in order to fully recover from a serious work-related injury.

However, Ohio injured workers are not returning to work in the numbers that are expected after a workplace accident, according to Ohio's Bureau of Workers' Compensation. The Ohio BWC is now proposing a new rating program aimed at increasing the return-to-work rates by improving safety conditions, rehabilitation and removing added overhead in administration costs.

The BWC has found some troubling trends related to workplace injuries and the time it takes injured workers to recover, including the fact that the rate of injured workers who return to work within 12 months of an injury has dropped from 75 percent to less than 69 percent over the past four years.

The proposed rating program is called "Destination: Excellence." This program would allow companies to choose from a number of risk-management programs that focus on supplementing current programs like the Safety Council. The program includes the following proposals:

  • Industry Safety: rewards companies that implement safety standards that are specific to the particular industry
  • Transitional Work: rewards employers for allowing injured workers who must modify their time and functions when returning to work
  • Vocational Rehabilitation: rewards companies that work with seriously injured workers who may need different employment as a result of the injury

These programs will go a long way in reducing the time away from work for injured workers, according to the BWC. The program is still awaiting approval.

Source: HR.BLR, "Ohio BWC Proposes Cost-Saving Program, Sets Rates," Dec. 13, 2011

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