June 28, 2018
Columbus—Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison today announced the bureau will expand its safety grant program to include $8 million for Ohio schools and police departments. The move is part of a two-year, $44 million investment in safety in the wake of BWC’s $1.5 billion rebate program.
“It’s easy to forget that classrooms are also workplaces and while policemen are there to protect us, they deserve workplace protections themselves,” Morrison said during a press conference at Whitehall Yearling High School near Columbus. “Where better to direct safety resources than to some of our most important employers — those who educate our children and those who swear to protect us.”
BWC will increase its annual Safety Intervention Grant Program from $15 million to $20 million in each of the next two years. As part of that increase, it will set aside $4 million each for Ohio police departments and schools, in addition to $2 million for state agencies.
BWC will work with the law enforcement community to determine how the money can be used to meet their needs. It will also work with the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) and the Ohio Homeland Security’s Center for P-20 Safety & Security, a collaboration between the Ohio departments of education and higher education dedicated to safe and supportive learning environments across the state.
“This initiative will no doubt contribute to the safety of Ohio’s schools,” said ODPS Director John Born. “We are happy to support BWC in its investment in the welfare of students and staff across the state.”
“Safety equipment is extremely important to police work; it protects officers from harm while helping them properly perform their duties,” said Whitehall Police Chief Mike Crispen. “The law enforcement community will welcome assistance in equipping officers with the safety tools and training that prepares them to provide the best possible protection to their communities.”
The state agency grants will be available to help develop innovative ways to promote safety among the businesses they work with. BWC will develop application guidelines and work with agencies to identify how to make those workplaces safer.
Morrison also announced $4 million will be dedicated to continuing BWC’s Occupational Safety and Health Research Grant Program. The program funds research into workplace health and safety at Ohio’s not-for-profit higher education institutions and research organizations. The Safety Intervention Grant Program will continue to include funding announced as part of last year’s safety initiative, including grants to help reduce carcinogen exposure in firefighters and protect those who care for the disabled.
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Melissa Vince, 614-466-2956 or 614-202-2329, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Teets, 614-728-8045-4940 or 614-425.0013, email@example.com
Established in 1912, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is the exclusive provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Ohio and serves 242,000 public and private employers. With 1,800 employees and assets of approximately $29 billion, BWC is the largest state-run insurance system in the United States. Our mission is to protect Ohio's workers and employers through the prevention, care and management of workplace injuries and illnesses at fair rates. For more, visit www.bwc.ohio.gov.