Ohio BWC Awards City of St. Marys $30,000 Safety Grant

February 4, 2014

Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer visited St. Marys (Auglaize County) to present its mayor with a $30,000 check to purchase cot lifters for the city’s medic units through BWC’s Safety Intervention Grant Program.

“These cots are proving to be very useful for fire departments across the state to make a dramatic improvement that protects first responders so they can do their jobs more safely,” said Buehrer. “I applaud the city for recognizing that investments in workplace safety can lead to positive results, both in terms of fewer injuries and in keeping workers’ comp costs low and employees healthy and productive.”

The City of St. Marys Fire Department is one of two full-time fire/paramedic institutions in Auglaize County, covering a 123 square mile area, and averaging 1,500 calls per year. The loading and unloading of patients leaves the city’s first responders vulnerable to injury. Common injuries include back and shoulder sprains, crushed fingers, lacerations, and sprains to upper extremities. To alleviate the process for workers, the city is purchasing a Power-LOAD cot fastener system that mechanically lifts and lowers the cot into and out of the ambulance.

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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