Effective January 10, 2012, the BWC has implemented a new program providing grants up to $15,000 over 4 years to state-fund employers to create workplace wellness programs for the prevention of occupational injuries and illnesses and to address health risk factors to reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries and illnesses.

State fund employers without an existing wellness program who are current on all premiums and other costs are eligible to apply for a grant. In addition, employers shall agree not to eliminate any jobs or reduce employment due to the implementation of the workplace wellness program. The BWC is awarding grants on a first come, first serve basis, based on the availability of funds, and it is expected that over 600 businesses will apply for the grants.

Once the BWC accepts an employer into the program, the employer will be required to submit biannual and annual reporting to the BWC for 4 years following the implementation of the wellness program and enter into a written agreement with the BWC. Further, the employer is required to implement the wellness program within 3 months of receiving the grant funds. Employers will be eligible to renew their participation in the program on a yearly basis. An employer will be disqualified from the program if the BWC determines that the employer knowingly misrepresented information on the initial grant application, violated any laws pertaining to confidential personal health information and/or coerced employees to participate in the workplace wellness program.

The BWC will gather data from the participating employers’ reporting to determine the effectiveness of the program in reducing claim costs.

Businesses interested in applying for the wellness program grants should contact the BWC for applications.