From Gongwer

The staff of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation on Tuesday proposed a 6.3% reduction in the premium rates charged to private employers.

If approved by the bureau’s board of directors, the cut would represent the eighth straight year in which premiums have fallen or remained steady.

“BWC has challenged itself to be part of the solution to Ohio’s economic recovery by keeping employers’ workers’ compensation rates affordable so they can prosper,” BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer said in a statement. “While we’re pleased with this trend of lower and more stable rates for employers, we’re also tremendously pleased with our progress in fulfilling our mission to provide the highest quality care and return-to-work services to Ohioans who suffer workplace injuries.”

The reduction is based largely on better-than-expected claim frequency and severity, according to BWC.

The agency said the proposed private sector rate cut would result in a reduction of $91 million in premium payments compared to the current rate.

Private sector rates fell by 2.1% in 2013, were steady in 2012 and dropped by 4% in 2011, BWC added.

“The most successful employers are those that understand safe and healthy employees are instrumental to a strong bottom line,” Mr. Buehrer said. “Going forward, BWC will be intensely focused on the issue of workplace safety and educating employers about the benefits of investing in injury and illness prevention.”

The proposal is expected to be considered at the bureau’s next board meeting on May 22.

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