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OhioBWC - Home:  Current News

For immediate release: April 22, 2013

BWC celebrates 20 years of program protecting Ohio public employees

April 20 marked anniversary of program that helps public employers create safe workplaces

Pickerington - The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation is celebrating 20 years of the Public Employment Risk Reduction Program (PERRP), which works to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for Ohio's 600,000 public employees. PERRP was established in 1993 with the signing of the Ohio Public Employment Risk Reduction Act. PERRP staff at BWC's Ohio Center for Occupational Safety and Health work to protect public employees by offering compliance assistance services and conducting enforcement inspections.

"Public employees battle fires, teach children and provide a safe and secure place for Ohioans to live. We owe it to them to ensure their own workplaces are safe," said Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "Although many of their employees perform dangerous jobs, many public employers don't take full advantage of the services PERRP has to offer. This program designed just for public employers can help them create safer workplaces that lessen the likelihood of injury or death."

PERRP assists and encourages public employers and employees to be proactive and take voluntary actions to maintain optimal safe and healthy working environments. Under Ohio law PERRP also conducts investigations of public employee fatalities, multiple hospitalization incidents, conditions that put employees in imminent danger and unresolved safety and health complaints.

PERRP offers the following free compliance assistance services to help public employers provide a safe and healthy workplace for their most valuable asset, their employees.

  • Voluntary facility inspections
  • Comprehensive on-site visits to identify hazardous working conditions
  • Site or equipment-specific evaluations-which could include recommendations about personal protective equipment or safety mechanisms
  • Reviews of required written safety programs, policies and procedures
  • Industrial hygiene evaluations
  • Presentations to public employers and employee groups about PERRP services and activities
  • On-site training on Ohio Employment Risk Reduction Standards
Public employers can request a voluntary facility inspections that will help identify unsafe and hazardous working conditions such as: electrocution hazards; possible chemical and substance exposures (asbestos; methylene chloride and noise); equipment operation hazards and fire and explosion hazards.

More than 150,000 hazardous conditions have been identified by PERRP to date. PERRP recommends corrective action when hazardous conditions are identified and employers have three years to make corrections to avoid citations.

In the past year, PERRP conducted site-specific training for ODOT, ODNR, the Ohio School Board Association, Ohio Township Association and Northern Buckeye Education Council to name a few. Fill out BWC's online form to request PERRP training or presentations.

Public employers can request PERRP services by calling 1-800-671-6858 or filling out an online request form. Employers looking for more information about PERRP can go to the BWC website at ohiobwc.com.

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