About 18,000 employers will share in a $21 million dividend from The MEMIC Group, the reward for improving their safety records in the workplace.

Directors of the Portland workers’ compensation company decided Sept. 29 to award the dividend, according to a release from the company.

Checks as large as $200,000 will be delivered in November to companies that bought their workers’ comp insurance through MEMIC; the amount depends on premium payments paid in 2014. The $21 million is the highest ever returned by the company, and represents nearly 15 percent of premium paid for policies issued that year.

“This money will go back into the Maine economy right where it belongs,” said Michael Bourque, president and CEO, in the release. “That money will be put to use for expansion and safety enhancements, debt reduction, new hires, wages, benefits and every other aspect of running a safe and successful enterprise. What’s especially nice is that this dividend will end up in the private, public and non-profit sectors in all 16 counties.”

Bourque said MEMIC works with policyholders to reduce injuries through safety training, engineering and education, and to help injured workers get well and back to work as soon as possible.

“It takes dedication and commitment but, as we like to say, workplace safety really does pay dividends,” he said.

Last year, the company returned $20 million to policyholders.

The dividend is contingent upon safety results, efficient management of the company, as well as investment and bond market performance. Bourque said MEMIC has returned more than $240 million to Maine policyholders since 1998.

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