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Ohio Workers’ Compensation

Workers' compensation is one component in estimating total labor costs. In the site selection process in Cleveland, access to and the cost of workers’ compensation is generally not considered to be a factor in affecting the process and outcomes of site location decisions.
 
Ohio is a monopolistic state which means the state government provides workers' compensation insurance through a state insurance fund. There are no private workers' compensation insurance companies. Ohio does allow employers to self-insure their workers' compensation coverage, if the employer has the financial resources to do so and is approved by the state for self-insurance.
 
Workers' compensation is handled by two state agencies. In Ohio, workers' compensation coverage can only be obtained through the state’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) also administers the insurance program. The BWC pays the medical bills and the indemnity payments. In the case of any dispute with the BWC, the dispute is referred to the Industrial Commission (IC). The IC is responsible for resolving all contested issues.
 
In Ohio, every employer, including farm owners and operators, with one or more employees must have workers' compensation insurance. It does not matter if the employee is full time or part time or a seasonal worker. Even family members who work for the small employer must be covered by workers' compensation insurance. The only exception is the single domestic employee who makes less than $160 every 3 months.
 
Jobs in Ohio are categorized and assigned a specific code.  Rates are determined by the amount of an employer’s payroll, the type of work employees do and the workplace injury record. Premiums cover the payment of compensation and medical costs related to industrial accidents and diseases that occur during your experience period.
 
There are two ways workers’ compensation is determined:  Base Rate or Experience Rate.
 
Base Rate is determined yearly and is based upon the total cost of claims.  Base Rate calculations begin with grouping industries according to the accident risk of their operations.  The BWC then determines the total cost of claims in each industry classification and then using payroll and claims losses the BWC determines a base rate.  BWC bases the amount of premium you pay on your industry classification rate assessed per $100 of reportable payroll.
 
Experience Rating is a procedure that reflects recent individual experience of an employer in projecting future costs for an upcoming policy period.  Calculations use the oldest four of the five years preceding the effective date of the rates. BWC excludes claims incurred during the most recent year because these claims have not had sufficient time to develop payment patterns.
 
Below is an example of specific industries and their average workers' compensation base rate.
 
Industry Group No Industry Name Avg Rate
IG1 Agriculture 7.54
IG2 Mining 4.97
IG3 Manufacturing 4.34
IG4 Construction 7.65
IG5 Transportation/Trucking 6.13
IG6 Utilities 2.61
IG7 Supplier/Commercial 3.70
IG8 Service 5.10
IG9 High Risk Supplier/Service 5.37
IG10 Clerical 0.26
     
 
There are various programs to help employers manage workers' compensation costs including Group Experience Discounts and The Grow Ohio Discount.  Many local chambers of commerce also provide discounted group member programs. 
 
 
Sources:  www.bwc.ohio.gov
www.cailorfleming.com/documents/OhioWorkersCompensationBasics101.pdf
www.cose.org