Intervention Grants Program
ORC 4121.37 and OAC 4123-17-56.
Safety & Hygiene (DSH)
and procedures regarding the Safety Intervention Grant Program that predate
the effective date of this policy.
August 1, 2022; December 31, 2019; January 1, 2018, September 22, 2017;
November 10, 2015; December 7, 2010; and October 2010. New: June 22, 2007.
I. Policy Purpose
BWC uses the Safety Intervention Grants (SIG) Program to partner
with Ohio employers to measure the effectiveness of workplace safety
interventions. The program is available to eligible Ohio employers who wish to
purchase equipment to substantially reduce or eliminate injuries or illnesses
associated with a particular task or operation. The program is designed to
establish safety intervention best practices for accident and injury
This policy applies to BWC Division of Safety & Hygiene (DSH),
employers and their authorized representatives.
A. Eligibility cycle: The eligibility cycle
applies to previous grant recipients who may be eligible to receive up to
$40,000 per eligibility cycle. The eligibility cycle is three years. The
eligibility cycle start date is determined by the date of the earliest grant
B. Fast track grants: Applications for
specific equipment that has been evaluated and proven to reduce risk and is likely
to have a significant impact on eliminating future injuries.
C. Grant Agreement: A one-year contract
for matching funds for safety equipment from the BWC to an employer. The
one-year period begins the date the purchased equipment is implemented and ends
the date the employer’s one-year case study has been received and approved, in
writing, by BWC.
D. Post assessment: An evaluation of the
risk associated with a task after the equipment has been implemented. The type
of assessment is based on the risk being addressed by the equipment
implemented. The assessment may include safety, ergonomic, or industrial
E. Post report: A review of the newly
purchased and implemented equipment by a BWC representative. The report
shall include a description of the equipment to include the make, model, serial
number, and color if applicable.
F. Pre-assessment: An evaluation of risk
hazards associated with the task to be addressed by the equipment. The type of
assessment is based on the risk addressed by the grant application. The
pre-assessment may include safety, ergonomic or industrial hygiene evaluations.
G. Pre-report: An application
checklist used to observe and evaluate the task and area where the equipment
will be used.
H. Retroactive purchases: Equipment purchased
prior to approval from BWC for the safety intervention, which includes ordered
equipment, paid equipment, and received paid equipment.
I. Unapproved purchases: Items outside the
scope of the SIG Program including but not limited to, equipment intended to
meet minimum OSHA compliance, routine equipment replacement, and interventions
outside the program’s injury prevention objectives.
A. Eligibility criteria:
1. At the time of application,
the employer must:
a. Be a state fund private
employer, a public employer taxing district, a marine industry fund employer,
or a coal workers’ pneumoconiosis fund employer.
b. Have active Ohio workers’
compensation coverage. The employer must maintain continuous active state fund
coverage while participating in the program. Marine industry fund and coal
workers’ pneumoconiosis fund employers must also have active coverage under
their respective fund effective January 1, 2006.
c. Not have more than forty
(40) days of cumulative lapses in workers’ compensation coverage within the
prior twelve (12) months.
d. Be current with respect to
all payments due BWC as defined in OAC 4123-17-14.
e. Provide evidence of at least
a one-year business history.
2. The following employers are
a. Self-insuring employers;
b. State agencies;
c. State universities;
d. Employers paying the minimum
administrative charge as set forth in OAC 4123-17-26;
e. State fund employers who
have elective coverage only; and
f. Marine industry fund and
coal workers’ pneumoconiosis fund employers who did not have active coverage
under their respective fund effective January 1, 2006.
3. The employer must
demonstrate the need for a safety intervention by describing the significance
of the problem and the effectiveness of the proposed solution.
4. The employer must provide
one year of baseline data, excluding temporary staff unless temporary staff are
covered under the BWC policy applying for the grant, including:
a. Number of employees directly
affected by the proposed intervention;
b. The BWC claim numbers for
claims filed by the population during the period; and
c. If the employer tests
equipment, and applies for grant funds to purchase the equipment, the baseline
data must be for the one-year period prior to the test period.
5. Employers may receive up to
$40,000 in grant funds per eligibility cycle.
6. Other eligibility
a. A successor employer may
apply for a safety grant based on a predecessor employer meeting the criteria
in sections IV.A.3 and IV.A.4 above. The successor employer must meet the
eligibility criteria set forth in sections IV.A.1.a through IV.A.1.d.
b. Alternate Employer
Organization (AEO) or Professional Employer Organization (PEO).
i. An AEO or a PEO is eligible
to apply for a grant under its own policy number. The AEO or PEO can only use
grant funds for operations owned or operated by it and not for any client
ii. A state fund employer in a
client relationship with an AEO or a PEO is eligible to apply for a grant if
the employer can demonstrate:
a) The task addressed by the
grant-funded equipment is for employees covered under the client employer’s BWC
b) The employer will continue
to cover the employees affected by the intervention under the client employer’s
BWC policy during participation in the program.
c. Coal workers’ pneumoconiosis
fund employers may use the grant fund to purchase equipment only to prevent
coal workers’ pneumoconiosis.
B. Pre-application steps.
1. Employers must contact the
local BWC customer service office to schedule an assessment by a BWC
representative. For coal workers’ pneumoconiosis fund employers, the assessment
must be scheduled with a mine safety inspector from the Ohio Department of
2. The employer must access the
online application on BWC’s web site.
3. The employer must allow BWC
staff access to the work site to perform a pre-report and pre-assessment of the
operation and area of concern. If requested, the employer must provide BWC
staff with the following data for the operation of concern:
a. Injury statistics,
associated claim numbers, and costs for the past one year;
b. Production and quality data;
c. Absenteeism and turnover
d. Number of full-time and
e. Hours worked by all
f. Job safety analysis or work
g. Pictures or video.
4. BWC staff may conduct a
five-year claims history review.
5. The employer must verify the
equipment it plans to implement is not on BWC’s unapproved items list.
6. The employer must obtain
detailed price quote(s) from the equipment vendor. The quote must be
specifically for the employer applying for the grant and must list all items to
be purchased. The price quote must include a contact name and contact phone
number from the equipment vendor. BWC highly recommends obtaining a quote
of one hundred twenty (120) days or longer.
C. Application requirements.
1. The employer must submit all
sections of the application online including the budget and agreement.
2. Completing the budget page.
a. The employer must provide
equipment price quotes. The quotes must include the vendor’s name, address, and
date of the quote. The quote must include the employer’s information, including
b. All items and costs
associated with the grant request must be listed on the budget page. The budget
page and quote detail must match.
c. Price quotes must be
submitted for all items requested on the budget page. Each item description and
dollar amount must match the vendor quote.
d. Freight and tax must be
included in the budget and in the price quotes, even if estimated, to be
considered as part of the grant request.
e. All budget line items must
multiply across correctly, and the sum of the total column must be correct.
f. The employer must disclose
and explain any ownership, partnership, or other affiliation with the equipment
3. A safety grant is a one-year
agreement between the employer and BWC. The employer agrees the signer of
the agreement, or a successor, will have the authority and responsibility to
ensure the employer will fulfill its obligations to BWC for one year after
implementation of the intervention.
4. The state of Ohio considers
a grant recipient a supplier. This means the employer must obtain a supplier ID
number through the Ohio Shared Services website, then complete and send the
following forms to Ohio Shared Services:
a. Request for Taxpayer
Identification Number & Certification (W-9 via the Supplier Portal).
b. Authorization Agreement for
Direct Deposit of EFT Payments (OBM-4310-Rev.11/1/2011 via the Supplier Portal).
5. The employer must be current
on receipt documentation and required reports including the one-year case study
for all in-program grants at the time the employer submits a new grant
application. BWC will not review the new application until any delinquent documentation
is received and accepted by the safety grant department. BWC will hold the
grant application for a period of forty-five (45) days. Failure to supply
delinquent documentation within this time period will result in BWC dismissing
the grant application to the employer.
6. The employer may only apply
for a safety intervention grant related to a manual classification for which
payroll is reported.
7. There are no item quantity
limitations, however the employer must adequately justify the need for the
8. The employer must explain
any prior rentals or testing of the requested equipment on the application.
9. The employer must include
any type of discount received on the price quote and budget page. BWC will
determine the employer’s match after the discount has been removed from the
10. The employer may obtain a
loan through a third-party lender for its portion of the grant match if the
a. indicates the intent to
finance its portion of the project on the budget page of the grant application;
b. applies the BWC grant funds
directly to the purchase of the equipment; and
c. provides BWC with a copy of
the loan agreement.
11. For all other financing
arrangements, the employer must contact a BWC grant coordinator for prior
D. BWC evaluation of
1. BWC will consider the
employer’s application complete if the following items are received:
a. The completed online
b. The Statement of Agreement
with electronic signatures;
c. The Budget page with
electronic signatures and corresponding vendor quotes;
d. The pre-report and
pre-assessments from the BWC representative; and
e. Additional information as
requested by BWC including pictures, videos, and equipment brochures.
2. BWC will hold incomplete
grant applications for a period of forty-five (45) days. Failure to supply the
required information within this time period will result in BWC dismissing the
grant application from consideration.
3. The employer’s completed
application will be reviewed by the Review Committee. Fast track grants are
reviewed by a member of the Review Committee and either the Superintendent of
DSH or their designee.
a. Each reviewer will
independently evaluate and score the employer’s application.
b. The Review Committee
recommends by consensus either approval or denial of the application to the
Superintendent of DSH, or their designee, using criteria established by the
Superintendent of DSH.
4. Consideration is given to
the research value of the safety equipment
5. The employer’s application
may be denied for equipment outside the scope of the program.
6. BWC will compare the number
of affected employees with reported payroll data. BWC will not approve a grant
if the reported payroll divided by the number of employees does not reflect the
employer’s workers are earning wages at the State of Ohio minimum wage in
effect during the payroll reporting period(s) used.
7. BWC requests grant funds for
approved applications through the Department of Administrative Services.
Employers can expect to receive funds approximately two to eight weeks after
approval of the application.
E. Employer requirements after
the awarding of grant funds.
1. The employer must complete
purchases within ninety (90) days of receipt of the grant award.
2. BWC may allow additional
time to purchase equipment, up to a maximum of ninety (90) days, upon the
employer’s request. The request must be made within the initial ninety (90) day
period. Extenuating circumstances warranting an extension may include, but are
not limited to:
a. Lack of vendor cooperation;
b. Equipment not working as
c. Difficulties incurred during
removal or relocation of old equipment; or
d. Problems experienced with
the fabrication or installation of new equipment.
3. All requests for an
extension are to be formally requested within the BWC Grant Management Portal,
providing a detailed description of what has transpired and why the employer
has not met the agreed upon obligation to the grant program. Requests will be
reviewed and approved by BWC.
4. The employer must provide
BWC with the following items within one hundred twenty (120) days of receipt of
the grant award:
a. Approved grant application
b. Itemized invoice(s)
pertaining to all approved equipment purchases showing
i. the invoice demonstrates
that the approved equipment purchases were made, and
ii. a description of the
equipment including the make, model, color, and serial number of the equipment
c. Proof of employer matching
d. Copies of all bank cleared
checks or online bank statements that demonstrate the employer paid in full all
invoices associated with the equipment.
i. Check copies must include
the front and back of the check.
ii. These checks or online bank
statements must include all BWC and employer matching contributions.
5. BWC will reconcile the
employer’s grant application and budget to the expenditure documentation. If
there is any discrepancy in the information provided, BWC may request
additional documentation to complete the reconciliation.
6. The employer must reimburse
BWC for all unused funds. Any unused portion of the grant will be billed to the
employer. Failure to pay may result in administrative, civil, or criminal
7. The employer must use the
grant funds in the intended manner. The employer may face administrative,
civil, or criminal penalties should the funds be misappropriated.
8. The employer must request
prior approval from BWC, if the employer makes any changes to the equipment
during implementation. The request must be in writing as an addendum to the application.
The employer must provide BWC an amended budget and itemized expense report.
9. The employer must contact
the BWC representative to observe the equipment and complete a Post Report and
Post Assessments. The make, model, color, and serial number of the
equipment will be verified and entered in the BWC database.
F. Operation of program.
1. The program is subject to
funding each fiscal year and may be discontinued or suspended at any time.
2. BWC reserves the right to
approve or deny any application based upon program needs or equipment
3. An employer is eligible for
a three-to-one matching grant up to a maximum grant award of $40,000 for each
eligibility cycle. This means BWC gives $3 for every $1 the employer
4. The employer may only use
grant funds to purchase ergonomic, safety, or industrial hygiene equipment.
5. The employer must agree:
a. To keep purchased equipment
maintained and in good working order for the one-year agreement period
beginning the date of implementation;
b. To use the equipment in the
employer’s operation only and not to loan, rent, or lease the equipment to any
other entity for the one-year period beginning the date of implementation;
c. Not to sell, transfer, or
otherwise dispose of purchased equipment for the one-year period beginning the
date of implementation; and
d. To submit a one-year case
study report to BWC one year after the date of implementation.
i. The one-year case study must
be submitted within thirty (30) days of the one-year reporting period.
ii. The employer may request
assistance from a BWC representative.
iii. The employer must complete
and submit the one-year case study online through a link provided on BWC’s web
iv. BWC will require an employer
who fails to adhere to the reporting requirement to reimburse the full amount
of the grant.
6. BWC will not approve, and
the employer may not use, grant funds for any of the following:
b. External consultant fees;
c. Retroactive purchases;
d. Unapproved items purchases;
e. Routine replacement
f. Rented or leased equipment;
g. Salaries, wages, labor and
the cost of preparing the application.
7. The employer must continue
to cover the employees affected by the intervention under its BWC policy.
8. The employer must agree not
to eliminate jobs or reduce employment due to the intervention.
9. The employer must allow BWC
staff access to the work site both before and after the intervention.
10. The employer 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.
11. A compliance audit may be
initiated by BWC up to three (3) years after the Grant Agreement completion
date. The employer shall retain financial and statistical records,
supporting documents, records pertaining to property acquired with Grant
Agreement funds, and all other records related to this Grant Agreement, for a
period of three years after the expiration or termination date of the Grant
Agreement. The three-year period begins with the date the employer’s
final report has been approved in writing by BWC. If any litigation,
claim, or audit is initiated before the expiration of the three-year period,
all records and supporting documents shall be retained until such litigation,
claims, and audit findings are
12. BWC will issue the employer
an IRS 1099 for BWC paid grant funds.
13. BWC is required to post the
names of grant recipients, the items approved for purchase with grant funds,
and the amount of the awards on the BWC website. This requirement is
mandated by ORC 125.112(F).
14. When an employer holding an
active safety grant merges, or combines with another employer, the grant
remains valid. The successor employer must continue to provide the required
reports to BWC for the duration of the one-year reporting period.
a. The predecessor employer
bears sole responsibility to notify the successor employer of the obligations
under the SIG program.
b. If the successor employer
fails to comply with the reporting provisions, BWC will bill the successor
employer for previously awarded grant funds.
c. A successor employer is
eligible to apply for safety grants under this policy.
G. Disqualification from the
1. BWC may disqualify an
employer from the Safety Intervention Grants Program who fails to meet all
eligibility, application, or program participation requirements.
2. If an employer moves out of
state or otherwise closes its business after receiving a grant, but before
completing the one year of required reporting, BWC may disqualify the employer
as of the date of the move or closure.
3. Disqualification will result
in the termination of BWC’s obligations under this policy.
4. BWC reserves the right to
recover grant funds from disqualified employers by one or more of the following
a. Billing the employer for the
grant money received.
b. Forwarding to the Ohio
Attorney General for collection, set off, recoupment, or other legal remedy.
H. Resolution of complaints.
1. An employer may file a
complaint due to BWC’s decision including, but not limited to, a finding the
employer did not meet eligibility requirements for the program. The complaint
must be in writing and filed with the Superintendent of DSH within thirty (30)
days of notification of the decision.
2. Employer complaints should be
processed under the General Employer Complaint Policy. BWC has not identified any
program-specific extenuating circumstances that apply to the Safety
Intervention Grants Program.
1. Number of employees affected
by the intervention versus reported payroll.
An employer claims there are
ten full time employees affected by the intervention. On the employer’s most
recent payroll report, the payroll is $100,000 for the policy year.
Response: Ten full time
employees would not have earnings this low even at minimum wage. In this
situation, the grant will not be considered.
2. Multiple grant applications.
An employer has received a
SIG in the amount of $20,000 to purchase a dust collection vacuum system.
Eleven (11) months later, it submits another application for a conveyor system
in the amount of $13,000.
Response: This is acceptable.
A single policy number can have multiple SIGs if the total of all grants does
not exceed $40,000 during its eligibility cycle. Once the eligibility cycle
ends, the employer is eligible for $40,000 once again in a new eligibility
3. Testing equipment prior to
An employer applies for
grant funds to purchase hydro-mobile scaffolding with a hydraulic lifting
system to reduce risk of injuries due to manual construction and adjustment of
scaffolding used on building sites. While reviewing the application, the Review
Committee notices a section in the application discussing the success the
company had with the equipment during a trial.
Response: The program allows
for the testing of equipment prior to application, but this arrangement is
between the employer and the vendor. Grant funds are not to be used for
testing. Grant funds may only be used to purchase equipment after BWC approves
the application, and the funds are provided to the employer. If testing
equipment is used prior to submitting its application, the employer is required
to provide baseline data for the one-year period prior to testing the
4. Employer with previous
An employer applies for a
safety grant to purchase an automated packaging system at a cost of $75,000.
The employer received two previous grants: One on April 1, 2020, for $15,000
and another on October 20, 2021, for $25,000.
Response: The employer’s
eligibility cycle is three (3) years. The employer’s earliest grant is dated
April 1, 2020. Since the employer has already received the maximum of $40,000
in this cycle, the employer will once again be eligible on April 1, 2023, for
An employer requests $40,000
in grant funds to assist with the purchase of a $65,000 conveyor system. The
employer states in the application it will need to obtain a business loan for
its portion of the project through a local bank.
Response: Upon approval and
receipt of the grant funds, the employer must pay the $40,000 BWC grant directly
to the equipment vendor for the purchase of the conveyor system. The employer
may obtain a loan of $25,000 for the remaining cost of the conveyor system. The
employer must provide BWC with the following: an invoice from the equipment
vendor for the total purchase amount of $65,000, a copy of the loan agreement
for $25,000, proof of the $25,000 loan payment made to the equipment vendor,
and a copy of the cancelled check from the employer to the vendor in the amount