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For immediate release: February 24, 2015

Upgrade at Payne Rec Center to protect city employees from workplace injuries

MORAINE - A grant from the Ohio Bureau of Workers- Compensation (BWC) will assist the city of Moraine with the purchase of an automated bleacher system for the Payne Recreation Center. BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer today visited the center to present the city department of parks and recreation with a $16,000 check that was awarded through BWC's Safety Intervention Grant Program. The presentation was one of a number of events in Southwest Ohio ahead of Governor John Kasich's State of the State address in Wilmington this evening. Kasich has made safe Ohio workplaces a priority, as well as low, stable rates for employers and improving care for injured workers so they can return to their jobs more quickly.

"Employers sometimes find opportunities for safety improvements in unexpected places, and Moraine found they could better protect their employees by eliminating the physically demanding work associated with manually moving bleachers," said Buehrer. "We agree with Gov. Kasich that safe workplaces are good for workers, employers and Ohio's economy. That's why we encourage employers to take advantage of BWC's safety services that can help prevent accidents from ever occurring."

The Payne Recreation Center is part of the City of Moraine's Parks and Recreation Division, which offers fitness, sports, youth and wellness programming opportunities to city residents and members of surrounding communities.

Rec center staff currently must pull the gymnasium bleachers in and out, first by deploying the bleachers, and then attaching handrails, and repeating the process to store the bleachers after use. The 30-40 minute process requires employees to stoop, bend over, lift, reach and climb underneath the bleachers. The automated system will be operated at the push of a button, reducing the risk of injuries by eliminating the need for manual setup and storing of the bleachers.

BWC's Safety Intervention Grant Program assists Ohio employers in reducing illnesses and injuries and to create a partnership with them to establish best practices for accident and injury prevention. Ohio private and public employers are eligible for the grants, which include a 3-to-1 matching amount up to a maximum of $40,000. BWC increased its commitment to workplace safety by up to $35 million over the next two years as part of its Another Billion Back plan, which also included $1 billion in rebates.

Learn more about the Safety Intervention Grant Program and view the stories of previous grant recipients at bwc.ohio.gov or BWC's YouTube channel. To learn more about the many safety-focused services BWC offers Ohio employers, visit the safety section of bwc.ohio.gov

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