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Safety awards highlight risks to Ohio businesses, workers

Nine Ohio business and government entities across the state have been awarded money under the state’s Safety-Intervention Grant Program, with the nearly $260,000 provided them being allotted to safety enhancements at their respective workplaces.

The program is administered by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation pursuant to money made available by taxpayers. Steve Buehrer, BWC Administrator, specifically thanked Governor John R. Kasich for his “support of increased statewide efforts to promote workplace safety and encourage further investment in protecting Ohio’s workers.”

The program is enhanced through employer contributions that are matched threefold by the BWC. Specifically, the bureau contributes three dollars for every dollar kicked in by an employer. Awards have a ceiling of $40,000 for any individual grantee.

The stated goal of the program is accident and injury reduction for state workers, along with a focus on creating and improving best practices to accomplish safety goals.

The recently announced awardees are from virtually every area of the state and represent business and government activity across a wide spectrum. Included are a township that provides fire and police services, a construction company, a rental equipment outfit and a brick manufacturer.

The awards provide in most instances for safety-enhancing equipment that will have an immediate salutary effect on reducing workers’ injury risks. The grants make it quite clear where safety concerns reside, with many awards referring to injuries caused by heavy lifting, repetitive activities, employees’ awkward postures engaged in to perform certain work tasks, trips and falls and loading/unloading of equipment.

Source: Insurance Journal, “Ohio Work Comp Bureau awards more than $258K to support workplace safety,” Sept. 30, 2013