The Safety Intervention Grant (SIG) Program reopened in November 2022, making the program easier for employers to apply. We’ve:
- Reduced the requirement for being in business from two years to one year.
- Changed eligibility cycle to three years for all businesses.
- Limited reporting requirements to a one-year report/case study.
- Added the program to the new grant management portal for online application.
The SIG Program is available to any Ohio private or public employer covered by the State Insurance Fund to purchase equipment to substantially reduce or eliminate injuries and illnesses associated with a particular task or operation.
With the Safety Intervention Grant, recipients are eligible for a 3-to-1 matching grant, up to a maximum grant award of $40,000 for each three-year eligibility cycle. This means BWC gives $3 for every $1 the employer contributes.
In return, employers will submit a one-year case study one year after the implementation date of the intervention. We’ll use this information to determine the effectiveness of the intervention and share successes with other employers. You may view the complete policy for the program, otherwise, click on the heading below for the specific information.
Grant process involves five phases:
- Steps to take before you apply for a safety intervention grant.
- How to complete the online grant application.
- Process to evaluate and approve your application.
- Receiving your grant funds.
- Next steps for approved applicants.
Steps to take before you apply for a safety intervention grant
Determine if you're eligible to apply
To be eligible for a safety intervention grant, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a private or public taxing district employer covered by the State Insurance Fund.
- Maintain active coverage - not more than 40 days lapsed in the prior 12 months.
- Be current on all monies owed BWC.
- Demonstrate the need for safety intervention.
- Provide one-year baseline data.
- Activated BWC coverage at least one year ago and completed sufficient payroll and/or true-up reporting.
If you fall into one of the following employer categories, you're not eligible to apply for the safety intervention grant.
- Employers that pay the minimum administrative charge or only payroll for elective coverage (sole proprietors or partners).
- Self-insuring employers.
- State agencies.
- State universities.
If you're eligible to apply the employer will allow BWC staff access to the work site to perform a review or assessment of the operation/area of concern.
Employers who meet the previous eligibility requirements may receive grant funds up to $40,000 per three-year eligibility cycle.
Preparing to apply
Arrange for a BWC safety field consultant (safety consultant, ergonomist, or industrial hygienist) to assist with your grant application.
You can request consulting services online using the link below or contact your local service office. Or, call 1-800-644-6292 to request a consultation.
Before you apply you will need the following:
- Any claim numbers for the operation of concern for the past one year.
- Number of employees in operation of concern.
- Verify the item is not on the BWC safety grant unapproved list.
- Consult the affected employees in the area of concern about your plans for implementing the equipment and solicit their feedback.
- Contact vendor(s) to research item.
- You may wish to arrange for a demo or a trial period if possible.
- You may obtain pictures or drawings to help illustrate intervention(s).
- Get a recent, detailed price quote(s) for the intervention(s) from the equipment vendor. The detailed price quote must be specifically for the employer applying for the grant funds and must list all items to be purchased. It's highly recommended to obtain a quote(s) of 120 days or longer.
How to complete the online grant application
- Create an account in the grant management portal. To request access to apply for a grant, you'll need to provide your policy number. You can then approve yourself to apply by providing your organization’s EIN. This video will walk you through the process.
- To start an application, select New Application on the left under My Applications.
- Once your intervention(s) is determined, you’ll complete the questions on the online application in the grant management portal. A video of this process can be found here. It is highly recommended you meet with a BWC safety field consultant prior to submitting the application. If you have not met with a consultant upon application submission one will be assigned to complete their report prior to your application moving forward.
- Someone with fiduciary responsibility must sign the Section V Budget and VI Statement of Agreement sections.
- Submit the online application.
- Demographic information.
- Number of affected employees.
- Description of current situation (process, risk factors, how often tasks are performed).
- Description of equipment and how it works.
- How employees will be trained on new equipment.
- How the intervention will reduce or eliminate exposure.
- Description of how any potential hazards created by the equipment will be addressed.
- Time it will take to order and install equipment.
Additional information on the Budget and Statement of Agreement
- Completing the Budget.
- You must list all items and costs associated with your grant request in the Budget. You must provide equipment price quote(s) from your selected vendor. The price quote(s) must include the vendor's name and address, date of the quote, and a contact name with phone number. Additionally, the quote(s) must include the employer's information with company location.
- The Budget and quote detail must match one another. If a cost is not included, it will not be considered.
- If you do not include all price quotes, we'll consider your submission incomplete.
- You must include price quotes for all items requested in the Budget. Each item description and dollar amount must match the vendor price quotes.
- You must include freight and tax in both the budget and price quotes (even if estimated).
- Employers are allowed and encouraged to receive multiple quotes but should only include quotes for the vendor they have selected.
- Budget and Statement of Agreement signatures
- The Budget and Statement of Agreement sections require the signature of someone with fiduciary responsibility for the company, employer's legal name, and principal business location.
- Note: We will return incomplete/incorrect and/or non-original signature forms which will delay the process.
- We must receive the Budget with price quotes and Statement of Agreement with original signatures before we consider your grant request.
- Employers must sign the budget and statement of agreement and initial the online application. This indicates they have fiduciary responsibilities under the employer's BWC policy number.
- The employer agrees the signer or any other person replacing them in the future will have the authority and responsibility to ensure the employer will fulfill its obligations to BWC for one year after implementation of the intervention.
As a potential safety grant recipient, your business must register as a state supplier and obtain a supplier ID number to receive grant funds. Additionally, you must complete a Request for Taxpayer Identification Number & Certification (W-9) and Authorization Agreement for Direct Deposit of EFT Payments (OBM-4310-Rev.11/1/2011). Both forms are available through the Ohio Supplier Portal.
To obtain a supplier ID number and obtain the two forms mentioned above, please complete the following:
1. Register in OH|ID by creating an account with a username and password that can be used for the Supplier Portal. Click Sign Up to set up an account in OH|ID.
OH|ID is the official identity management solution for all State of Ohio systems. OH|ID provides an 8-digit user ID that is used to access a variety of the state’s online applications. It delivers a secure and private experience for users during online interactions with the state.
2. Using your OH|ID login, access the Ohio Supplier Portal to obtain a supplier ID number.
The Supplier Portal is designed to provide suppliers with convenient access to information about their financial interactions with the State of Ohio. The Supplier Portal is easy to use, accessible across multiple devices (computers, smartphones, and tablets), and efficiently enables self-service functionality.
Note: The information you provide on these forms must match the information you provided under your BWC policy. If your BWC policy information is outdated, you must update it to receive your grant funds.
Employers may only use safety intervention grant funds to purchase ergonomic, safety, and/or industrial hygiene equipment to substantially reduce or eliminate workplace injuries or illnesses. Employers may test equipment before applying for a safety grant. BWC grant funds will not be used to cover the cost of testing. Therefore, the agreement for the testing period is between the employer and the vendor. If the employer decides to test equipment and applies for grant funds to purchase the equipment, the baseline data must be the one-year period prior to the test period. Include prior rentals or testing of requested equipment in your application. Also, include the frequency of your rental.
Concurrent program participation
Employers may participate in Safety Intervention Grant (SIG) Program concurrently with any combination of BWC’s safety grant programs.
Prior grant applications
Employers must be current on receipt documentation, including their case study, for all "in program" grants at the time they submit a new grant application. BWC will not review new applications until the delinquent documentation is received and accepted by the grant department.
This list of unapproved purchases includes those that are outside the scope of the program. They include:
- Equipment primarily necessary for the business (e.g., forklift).
- Items that are not engineering controls (e.g., PPE).
- Items that don’t directly reduce workplace risk factors (e.g., lighting).
- Other items outside the scope of the program (e.g., insurance).
View the list of unapproved purchases here.
Note: The unapproved list is NOT all inclusive.
Process to evaluate and approve your application
BWC considers the application packet to be complete and ready for evaluation by the Review Committee after receiving the following items:
- Completed online grant application.
- Statement of Agreement with signatures.
- Budget page with signatures and corresponding vendor quotes.
- Pre-report and pre-assessment(s) from the BWC consultant.
- Consultants use the pre-report as an application checklist and documents their evaluation/observations of the area/task where the intervention will be used. The pre-assessment(s) is an evaluation of risk hazards associated with the task to be addressed by the equipment intervention. The pre-assessment(s) may include a safety, ergonomic, and/or industrial hygiene evaluations. The assessment type used is based on the risk addressed by the grant application. The pre-assessment(s) is part of the application packet reviewed by the Review Committee as described above.
- If any of the aforementioned items are missing, incomplete, and/or incorrect, the review of the application will be delayed.
- The safety grant application packet listed above will be prepared and scheduled for the Review Committee's formal evaluation and scoring. A BWC grant coordinator handles the preparation process including review of the BWC policy and employer information to identify the following:
- Eligibility requirements have been met.
- Identify State Vendor ID number assigned by Ohio Shared Services (see Section 2, How to complete the online grant application).
- Review last full year for which payroll information is available.
- The BWC grant coordinator assigned to your application will contact you directly throughout the review process to gather missing documents, seek clarification, and notify you of the status of your application.
Incomplete applications - Applications received without submission of the budget page, price quote(s), and employer agreement will be returned to the employer 45 days after receipt of the online application. We'll remove the online application from our system and the employer must resubmit the online application for reconsideration.
Testing equipment - Employers may test equipment before applying for a safety intervention grant. BWC grant funds will not be used to cover the cost of testing. Therefore, the agreement for the testing period is between the employer and the vendor. If the employer decides to test equipment and applies for grant funds to purchase the equipment, the baseline data must be the one-year period prior to the test period.
External consultants - You may not use the grant money for external consultant fees.
Employees affected by the intervention - During participation in the Safety Intervention Grant Program, the employees affected by the intervention covered through the employer's policy within the state fund must remain under the policy.
Affected employees and payroll - The grant application evaluation process includes a review of reported payroll data. A portion of this evaluation involves comparing the number of affected employees with the reported payroll data. Employers should not apply for interventions for tasks that don't fall under the manual classifications for which payroll is reported. If the reported number of employees and payroll data do not support a practical hourly wage, the application will not be approved.
Equipment life expectancy - The intervention should have a life expectancy of at least five years. The employer must demonstrate this in their application.
Items frequently replaced - The grant will not fund intervention or intervention accessories that will need to be frequently replaced.
Fast track grants - BWC has identified specific equipment items which are reviewed through a "fast track" process. Fast track applications are reviewed by one Review Committee member and the Superintendent of the Division of Safety & Hygiene. Evaluation of applications through this process applies only to those involving equipment that were approved for many applications in the past. These fast track items are those in which the task(s) are high risk, and it is highly likely the intervention will have a significant impact on eliminating injuries in the future. Examples of fast track items include cot loading systems and patient lifting devices.
No job elimination - You must agree not to eliminate jobs due to the proposed intervention. You should further consider that we'll require reimbursement up to the full amount of the grant should you fail to adhere to the contractual terms and conditions of the award.
Receiving your grant funds
The grant applicant will receive notification from BWC explaining the outcome of their application request within one week of the application evaluation by the Review Committee. The grant application review status may be denied or approved. BWC will notify the employer with the grant status.
The grant coordinator will complete a requisition for grant payment through the Ohio Administrative Knowledge System (OAKS) upon notification of approval.
The OAKS system requires each grant recipient obtain a Supplier ID to receive funds from the State of Ohio. The next step (see Section 2, How to complete the online grant application) of the application process provides links to the forms required by Ohio Shared Services (OSS). OSS is the state agency responsible for making payment to Ohio suppliers. As a grant recipient, you're considered a supplier. In addition to the OSS forms, the demographic information provided by employers in their grant applications must match exactly with the demographic information in their BWC policies and under their supplier IDs. Check your BWC policy demographic information.
To check your OSS supplier ID, email Ohio Shared Services or call 614-338-4781 or 1-877-OHIO-SS1 (877-644-6771).
Approved grant employers will receive the grant award within six weeks.
- Use of grant funds - BWC reserves the right to approve or deny any application based upon research needs, program needs, and/or intervention effectiveness. The SIG Review Committee may deny grant applications for interventions for which BWC has already collected enough research information or for interventions that are outside the scope of the research program. See the unapproved list (see Section 2, How to complete the online grant application) or call 1-800-644-6292.
- Multiple grants - You may apply for grant money more than once, not to exceed the maximum total amount of $40,000 as allowed per employer eligibility cycle.
- Approved purchases - You may only use the Safety Intervention Grant to purchase ergonomic, safety, and/or industrial hygiene equipment to substantially reduce or eliminate workplace injuries and illnesses as detailed in the approved grant budget. You may not use safety intervention grant funds for salaries, wages, labor, and the cost of preparing the application. You must complete purchases within 90 days of receipt of grant award. BWC will hold a company responsible for using the grant in the intended manner. The company may face administrative, civil and/or criminal sanctions should it misappropriate funds.
- Any changes to intervention must be pre-approved - If the employer decides to make any changes to the intervention during the implementation, changes must be approved prior to implementation. You must submit requests for changes through the grant management portal.
- Prior purchases - You may not use grant money for safety interventions you've already purchased. This includes any or all of the following:
- Ordered equipment.
- Received equipment.
- Received paid equipment.
- If you make the purchase/payment prior to receipt of your approval letter, BWC will consider the purchase retroactive and it will request return of the funds.
- Return unused funds - You must reimburse BWC all funds you did not use from the Safety Intervention Grant Program. BWC will reconcile your grant application and budget table to the expenditure documentation you provide within the first 120 days after you receive your grant funds. Any unused portion of the grant funds will be billed to you from BWC and must be paid. Failure to repay BWC all unused portions of the grant may result in administrative, civil, and/or criminal sanctions.
- IRS 1099 requirement - All grant recipients will be issued a 1099 for their BWC paid grant funds. This does not preclude employers from providing BWC proof of spending verification for the use of the grant funds within 120 days after the date of the grant check. Verification includes the approved grant application budget page, itemized invoice(s) pertaining to all approved equipment purchased, proof of employer contribution, and copies of all bank cleared checks (front and back). Note: The issuance of a 1099 does not preclude BWC from seeking administrative, civil, and/or criminal sanctions if you do not reimburse the bureau all unused grant money and/or funds deemed misappropriated.
BWC reserves the right to recover grant monies from disqualified grant recipients by one or more of the following methods:
- Billing the employer for the grant money received.
- Forwarding to the Ohio Attorney General for collection, set off, recoupment or other legal remedy.
Next steps for approved applicants
Approved applicants will submit proof of spending and/or the one-year case study in the grant management portal. Once selecting the appropriate grant at My Applications under Grant Application you will be able to select the (…) on the right-hand side to submit proof of spending, i.e., Upload Receipts, or complete the Case Study.
Submit proof of spending, purchase date (date equipment was first purchased), and implementation date (date equipment was first used). Once you receive grant funds you must purchase the equipment and implement the intervention within 90 days of the date of the grant check. Within 120 days after the check date, you must provide BWC copies of the following:
- Itemized invoice(s) pertaining to all approved equipment purchased.
- Proof of employer matching payment.
- Copies of all bank cleared check(s) or online bank statements issued that demonstrate you paid in full all invoices associated with the intervention. This must include all BWC and employer matching contributions.
- Include a copy of the front and back of the bank cleared check.
- Upon review of all the submitted receipt documentation, BWC will bill the employer for unused grant funds. Failure to repay BWC all unused portions of the grant funds may result in administrative, civil, and/or criminal sanctions.
BWC requires you to provide a report one year after purchase and implementation of the intervention. Submit the One-Year Case Study within 90 days of the one-year reporting period. BWC will require employers who fail to adhere to the reporting requirements to reimburse the full amount of the grant.
- You must contact your BWC consultant soon after you purchase and implement your equipment. The consultant will schedule a to observe the equipment. They will complete a Post Report and Post Assessment(s).
- The Post Report and Post Assessment(s) are required for every grant program participant. The Post Report is a review of the newly purchased and implemented equipment. The BWC consultant will meet with the employer to discuss any unforeseen safety and health concerns. The Post Assessment(s) is an evaluation of risks associated with the task after the equipment intervention has been purchased and implemented. The Post Assessment(s) may include a safety, ergonomic, and/or industrial hygiene evaluations. The assessment type used is based on the risk addressed by the newly purchased and implemented equipment.
- Purchase extension approval process - We'll consider allowing additional time, up to a maximum of 90 days, upon the employer's request. You must make the extension request within the initial 90-day period. BWC recommends you keep copies of all documentation submitted for your files. Rentals or leases are not allowed under the program.
- If for any reason the employer participating in the safety intervention grant program fails to satisfy one or more of the criteria established in the Application and Instructions, OAC 4123-17-56, and in the employer agreement, including, but not limited to, the requirement of maintaining active coverage, timely payments thereof, timely submission of receipt documentation, and timely submission of reporting, the employer may be disqualified from the program. Disqualification will result in the termination of BWC's obligations under this agreement. BWC reserves the right to recover grant monies by one or more of the following methods: billing the employer for the grant money received, forwarding the employer's information to the Office of the Attorney General of Ohio for collection, set-off, recoupment, or other administrative, civil and/or legal remedy.
Failure to complete any of the above phases and steps may result in a delay in processing your application or return of your application.
Other program considerations
- Employees affected by the intervention - During participation in the safety intervention grant program, the employees affected by the intervention covered through the employer's policy within the state insurance fund must remain under the policy.
- Professional employer organizations (PEOs) - State-fund employers who are in PEO/client relationship are generally not eligible to apply for a safety intervention grant. To apply for a grant, the client employer must demonstrate the task being addressed by the grant funded equipment is for employees covered under the client employer's BWC policy. PEOs are eligible for safety grants under their own policy number. A PEO can only use these grants for operations owned/operated by it and not for any client employer.
- Disqualification from program - If for any reason the employer participating in the Safety Intervention Grant Program fails to satisfy one or more of the criteria established in the application and instructions, Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 4123-17-56, BWC may disqualify the employer from the program. Disqualification will result in termination of BWC's obligations under this agreement. BWC reserves the right to recover grant monies by one or more of the following methods:
- Billing the employer for the grant money received.
- Forwarding to the Office of the Attorney General of Ohio for collection, set-off, recoupment, or other civil and/or legal remedy.
- If the employer merges or combines its business after receiving a grant but before completing the two years of measurement reporting, the BWC Successorship Liability Policy will go into effect. The grant/predecessor employer is responsible for notifying the successor employer of the obligations under the Safety Intervention Grant Program. The successor employer may be liable to repay any and all previously paid grant monies if it does not meet these obligations.
- Access to work site - Cooperate with BWC by providing access to information to help measure the effectiveness of your intervention. Allow BWC staff access to the work site to observe, photograph, and/or videotape affected processes before and after the intervention. Grant recipients must allow BWC to publish safety intervention grant results, including but not limited to data, videos, specifications and/or photos for the purposes of illustrating, educating, and training employers and employees.
- Transparency page - Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 125.112 (F), BWC is required to post to its website names of grant recipients and dollar amounts awarded.
- Incomplete applications - Applications received by BWC without submission of the budget page, price quote(s), and employer agreement will be returned to the employer 45 days after receipt of the online application. The employer may resubmit the online application to be considered for the grant.
The best practices section of our website allows users to select an industry and risk factor type, or enter a key word search to obtain case studies specific to their interests.
Ohio law requires us to publish information about those who receive awards through our Safety Intervention Grant Program. View past recipients.