Today, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners announced they will re-apply to participate in the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Retrospective Rating Program for 2008. Commissioners noted that by participating in this plan, Franklin County has saved over $20 Million in premium payments to the BWC between 1995 and 2005.
The Retro Program is a workers’ compensation rating program for large employers that choose not to self-insure and which benefits the County by preventing a large cash payment in premiums to the BWC during a policy year. In an effort to reduce expense and maintain work place safety, the County has partnered with the Ohio BWC, Comp Management/Sedgwick CMS, the County’s managed care organization and a third-party administrator to manage its claims aggressively and return injured employees to work when medically feasible through transitional duty programs.
As a direct result, ninety-two percent of employees injured on the job returned to work within the first 30 days during 2006. Previously, in 2003, Franklin County’s return to work rate for injured employees was eight-three percent within the first 30 days. This gain is due to the development of transitional duty programs at the agency level and translates to a premium reduction of an anticipated $830,000 for next year.
“We are saving taxpayer dollars because we are offering Franklin County employees a safer working environment,” stated Commission President Mary Jo Kilroy. “It has reduced the severity of injuries and the duration of leave used by county employees.”
“As one of Central Ohio’s largest employers, Franklin County is working diligently to keep employees safe, and returning ninety-two percent of employees injured on the job to work within 30 days is a pretty good step in the right direction.”
Commissioner Marilyn Brown said, “Returning more employees to work more quickly is great news for them, their families and the county! The transitional duty programs and temporary accommodations we are able to offer our employees who may become injured on the job help to keep up staff morale and relieve any potential worker shortages.”
Beginning in 1989, the Ohio BWC gave public employers the option of participating in the Retrospective Rating Plan. Franklin County has participated since 1992. Current figures show the County spending $5,045,722 for minimum premium and its claims’ costs. Franklin County also participates in the BWC’s Safety Council Discount Program, which has resulted in a two-year savings of over $225,000.