MUSKEGON — Nearly 40 businesses will share a collective $60,000 dividend through their participation in a workers’ compensation group program administered by the Muskegon Area Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s a great program for our members,” said Dawn Johnson, director of member development for the chamber. “It’s a great program for the business community and it allows everybody to save money on their bottom line.”
The dividend, which is rewarded for safe workplace practices, is based on the number of claims received from the chamber group. The amount the company receives back depends on each participant’s premium costs; it ranges from less than $100 to more than $6,000, with an average dividend of over $1,500.
While the dividend was 9 percent this year, Johnson said last year the participants received 14.7 percent. Though the percentage was down, Johnson said she was still pleased that members received a dividend.
The chamber has offered the group dividend program through Accident Fund since 2000. This is the fourth straight year it has earned a dividend.
While keeping people healthy and injury-free is vital in its own right, it is also an important factor in the ability to earn a dividend. Safety at work leads to fewer injuries and fewer workers’ compensation claims.
“It’s a fact: Safety pays. A safe work environment is not only great for employees, it’s great for the bottom line,” said Tom Rummel, Accident Fund’s group program consultant.
Accident Fund’s consultants work with policyholders on safe work practices and teach employee safety training. The company also offers an online “tool box” where policyholders can link to federal and state workplace safety Web sites.
Johnson said the program offers members a win-win situation, encouraging safety in the workplace and lowering costs. In addition to the dividend opportunities, the program provides a 5 percent discount on workers’ compensation insurance premium rates.
“We’re just very excited to be able to offer this as a member benefit to our chamber members.”