Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer visited Xenia (Greene County) to recognize the city’s exceptional efforts to maintain a safe workplace. Buehrer presented City Manager Jim Percival and Fire Chief Kenny Riggsby with a $40,000 check to purchase cot lifters for the city’s medic units through BWC’s Safety Intervention Grant Program.
“Investments in safety can make a real difference in reducing workplace injuries, benefitting employees and positively impacting an employer’s bottom line,” said Buehrer. “In purchasing the new cots, the city has done a great job identifying an area where injuries are likely to happen, and taking action to protect firefighters and medics so they can do their jobs more safety. I encourage other local businesses to take advantage of BWC’s expanded grants program and other safety resources to help prevent injuries and reduce their costs.”
Xenia’s Fire Division provides fire and emergency medical services to citizens and operates four ambulances. The current process for transporting patients involves two firefighter/paramedics carrying cots to patients, lifting the patients onto the cot and raising it, then carrying the cot and loading it into the medic unit. Workers repeat the entire process at least ten times during a shift, increasing the likelihood of back injuries that tend to be cumulative in nature.
To alleviate the process for workers, the city is purchasing four Power-LOAD cot fastener systems, battery operated hydraulic systems that mechanically lifts and lowers the cot into and out of the ambulance. In addition to the safety grant, the city is using its share of $1 billion in rebates BWC recently distributed to employers across the state to make the purchase.
“The City of Xenia is very happy to be able to take advantage of the BWC’s grant program to provide new cots for the Xenia Fire Division,” said Percival. “These new cots will allow our firefighter/paramedics to perform their functions more safely and reduce the risk of injury to our employees, and in turn make our operations more efficient and effective for the citizens of Xenia.”
BWC’s Safety Intervention Grant Program assists Ohio employers in reducing illnesses and injuries and to create a partnership with them to establish best practices for accident and injury prevention. Ohio private and public employers are eligible for safety intervention grants, which include a 3-to-1 matching amount up to a maximum of $40,000. Quarterly data reports and follow-up case studies help BWC determine the effectiveness of employers’ safety interventions and establish best practices. The total amount of available money was recently tripled to $15 million as part of the bureau’s Billion Back plan, which also included $1 billion in rebates and steps to modernize BWC’s billing processes.
Source: Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
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