OhioBWC - Basics: (Policy library) - File


Policy Name:

School Safety and Security Grant (SSSG) Program

Policy #:


Code/Rule Reference

ORC 4121.37 and OAC 4123-17-56.

Effective Date:

June 28, 2024


Division of Safety & Hygiene (DSH)


Revised policy issued June 28, 2023.


Revised June 28, 2024; June 28, 2023; March 11, 2022; and September 17, 2020. New policy issued November 29, 2018.

Review Date:

June 28, 2029


 I.      Policy Purpose

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) created the School Safety and Security Grant (SSSG) Program as an extension and modification of BWC’s general industry Safety Intervention Grants Program. BWC uses the SSSG Program to partner with Ohio schools to substantially reduce or eliminate injuries or illnesses among school employees and students.

 II.    Applicability

This policy applies to BWC Division of Safety & Hygiene (DSH), employers, and their authorized representatives.

 III.   Definitions

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 warrant.

B.    Fast track grants: Applications for specific equipment where there is high risk for injuries and illnesses, and the specific equipment is likely to have a significant impact on eliminating future injuries and illnesses.

C.    Post report and assessment: A review of the worksite and newly purchased and implemented equipment using a checklist to observe and evaluate the area or task where the equipment is used.

D.   Pre report and assessment: A review of the worksite prior to implementation of the grant purchased equipment using a checklist to observe and evaluate the area or task where the equipment will be used.

E.   Retroactive purchases: Equipment purchased prior to the receipt of the warrant from BWC for the safety intervention grant. This includes ordered equipment,  purchased equipment, and received  purchased equipment.

F.    The following definitions found in the Safety Intervention Grants Program policy do not apply to the SSSG Program: comprehensive safety report, unapproved items list, and routine replacement equipment.

IV.  Policy

A.    Unless otherwise specified in this policy, all application requirements, eligibility, participation criteria, reporting, and procedures stated in the Safety Intervention Grants Program policy apply to the applicants and participants of the SSSG Program. BWC uses this policy to set forth the unique components of the SSSG Program.


B.    Eligibility criteria.


1.    The employer must be a state fund private employer or public employer taxing district that has employees who work with students. The employer must provide information on the application clearly describing the student population.

2.    Eligible employers include: public and private K-12 schools, charter schools, joint vocational school districts and licensed pre-schools in Ohio.

      a. Pre-schools must be licensed through the Ohio Department of Education or Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

      b. Pre-schools licensed solely under Ohio Department of Job and Family Services requirements must provide the following supplemental information with their application:

            i. The most recent inspection report with capacity and enrollment numbers;

            ii. A copy of their license; and

            iii. A copy of the curriculum provided to the pre-school population.

3.    Employers not eligible for the SSSG program include:

i. Colleges and universities;

ii. Self-insuring employers;

iii. Professional employer organizations;

iv. Alternate employer organizations; and

v. State agencies.

4.    The maximum grant amount an employer can receive is $40,000 per eligibility cycle to purchase employee safety interventions, incident response equipment, facility equipment, transportation equipment, and ground security equipment described in this policy in sections IV.D.1.a through IV.D.1.d.  The eligibility cycle for this equipment is three years. The eligibility cycle start date is determined by the date of the earliest grant award.

5.    Equipment purchases have a three-to-one matching grant requirement to purchase equipment described in this policy in sections IV.D.1.a through IV.D.1.d. This means BWC gives $3 through the grant for every $1 the employer contributes. 

6.    Employers participating in the Safety Intervention Grant Program are eligible to apply.

a.    Employers may apply for the SSSG Program even if they have received up to $40,000 in their current Safety Intervention Grants eligibility cycle.

b.    Employers who are in the Safety Intervention Grants Program must be up to date on all required documentation and reports to be eligible to apply for the SSSG Program.

7.    BWC reserves the right to visit the employer based on the information provided in the application and complete either or both of the following:

a.    A pre report and assessment before approval of the application, or

b.    A post report and assessment after the approval of the grant application.

8.    The employer is not required to:

a.   Demonstrate the need for a safety intervention by describing the significance of the problem and the effectiveness of the proposed solution; or

b.    Provide one year of baseline data.

C.   Pre-application steps.


1.    The employer must access BWC’s web site and complete and submit the Application for School Safety and Security Grant (SH-56) to apply.. 

2.    The employer must provide BWC with the following information:

a.    Description of organization;

b.     The number of employees performing these tasks;

c.    The number of students receiving services from the employer; and

d. A description of the job tasks impacted by the proposed equipment.

3.    The employer must obtain detailed price quote(s) from the equipment vendor(s). A quote must be specifically for the employer applying for the grant and must list all items to be purchased. A quote must include a contact name and contact phone number from the equipment vendor. BWC highly recommends obtaining quotes valid for one-hundred twenty (120) days or longer.

4.    The employer is not required to contact the local BWC customer service office to schedule an assessment by a BWC safety consultant.

D.   Application requirements.


1.    The employer may only apply for and use grant funds to purchase the following:

a.    Employee safety interventions.

i.      Flooring or floor coatings to reduce slip hazards;

ii.     Lightweight lunch tables that reduce lifting and handling hazards;

iii.    Motorized bleacher systems;

iv.   Safe food fryers;

v.     Cutting or slicing equipment; or

vi.   Floor cleaning machines.

b.    Incident response equipment.

i.      Equipment bags or backpacks stocked with trauma first aid supplies;

ii.     Two-way communication devices and software designed to interface directly with emergency responders; or

iii.    School-wide panic alarm or panic button system.

c.     Facility/transportation/grounds security.

i.      Interior and exterior security doors and mechanisms (e.g., panic bars or other fire code compliant door locking mechanisms, bullet proof glass, bullet resistant coating materials for existing glass);

ii.     Protective vehicle crash barriers in front of entrances;

iii.    Modifications of building or facility entrances to restrict access;

iv.   Secured keycard or keycode systems;

v.     Metal detectors (fixed or portable);

vi.   Security cameras; or

vii.  Emergency (police dispatch) call poles.

d. HVAC improvements.

i. Engineering services, recommissioning, or retro­-commissioning of existing HVAC systems or ventilation systems related to improving indoor air quality;


ii.  Servicing of HVAC or venti­lation systems to ensure ventilation and outdoor air intake systems are operat­ing as intended;


iii. New, replacement or additional tempera­ture, humidity, and carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring for improved indoor air quality monitoring;


iv. Verification or review that the existing systems are providing code required ventilation under Ohio Mechani­cal Code/American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 62.1 or 62.2;


v.  Purchase of Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV-13) or higher filters for HVAC sys­tems to improve IAQ;


vi. Improvements to building control systems to allow for increased ventilation;


vii.  HVAC system modifications to allow for increased ven­tilation above the Ohio Mechanical Code required minimum;


viii. Ventilation modifications due to fewer building occu­pants so existing HVAC system can handle addi­tional ventilation load;


ix. Commercial grade portable point-of-use air filtration systems with minimum MERV-13 or High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) standards; or


x.  Air treatment devices that may include, but are not limited to, ion­ization technology or ultraviolet (UV-C) technology designed to reduce airborne pathogens.


2.    BWC will not approve an SSSG Program application for any equipment not listed in section IV.D.1. above.


3.   The employer must submit the completed application with all questions answered in writing to BWC.


4.    Section V (Budget) and Section VI (Agreement) of the application require the signature of an employee who has fiduciary responsibility for the employer.


5.    The employer agrees as the signer of the agreement that he or she, and any assigns or successors, are bound by the employer’s SSSG Program obligations to:


a.    Purchase and implement the equipment;

b.    Provide receipt documentation to BWC within one-hundred twenty (120) days of the date of the grant award; and

c.     Submit a case study to BWC one year after the anticipated equipment implementation date provided on the SH-56. 

6.    There are no quantity limitations to the items listed in section IV.D.1.

7.    When a school, which falls under a municipality’s BWC policy number or a county’s BWC policy number, applies for a grant, BWC distributes the grant funds to the municipality or county board for the approved use.

E.    BWC evaluation of application.


1.    BWC considers the employer’s application complete if the following items are received:

a.    The completed application;

b.    The Statement of Agreement with original signatures; and

c.     The Budget page with original signatures and corresponding vendor quotes.

2.    The SSSG Program grants are considered fast track grants and are reviewed by two members of the Review Committee who recommend approval or denial of the application to the Superintendent of DSH or designee.

F.    Operation of program.


1.  The employer must agree to submit one case study to BWC one year after the implementation of the equipment.

a.    The case study must be submitted within thirty (30) days of the one-year anniversary of the equipment implementation date.

b.    The employer may request assistance from a BWC safety consultant.

c.     The employer must complete and submit the case study online accessed through the SSSG Program web page.

d.    BWC requires an employer who fails to adhere to the case study reporting requirement to reimburse the full amount of the grant.

2.    The employer is not required to submit quarterly data reports to BWC.

3.    BWC reserves the right to observe the equipment and complete a post report and post assessments.

4.    There are no life expectancy requirements for the equipment purchased.

5.    BWC will not approve, and the employer may not use, grant funds for retroactive purchases.

G.   Scenarios.


1.    A school received a Safety Intervention Grant in the amount of $40,000 to purchase a portable scissor lift to assist facility maintenance tasks. The grant check was dated five months prior to an SSSG Program application to purchase slip resistant flooring for the elementary school kitchen.  The employer has not provided BWC the required receipt documentation for the Safety Intervention Grant Program. 

Response: An employer participating in the Safety Intervention Grants Program must be current on all receipt documentation and reporting to be eligible for the SSSG Program. This employer is not eligible to apply for the SSSG Program until the required documentation is submitted.

2.    A school district applies for the SSSG Program in the amount of $5,000 to cover the cost of first aid trauma kits. Two months after receiving the grant, the school district applies for $18,000 to purchase security cameras. What are the matching amounts, and may the school district submit a third grant for other items?

Response: If the total cost of the trauma kits is $5,000, the school district’s three-to-one employer match for this grant is $1,250. The school district’s three-to-one employer match for $18,000 to purchase security cameras is $4,500.  The school district still has $22,750 ($40,000 - $3,750 - $13,500) available from BWC for future applications under the program until the eligibility cycle ends.