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For immediate release: March 5, 2015

BWC funding workplace safety research at BGSU

BWC awards research grants to fund nine projects across the state

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) and Ohio Board of Regents today announced Bowling Green State University (BGSU) has been awarded a $250,000 research grant to improve workplace safety in nursing homes. BGSU is one of six higher education institutions in Ohio selected for $2 million in total funding for nine research proposals.

"While workplace safety and accident prevention have long been part of our mission at BWC, we are pleased to now champion research in the area of occupational safety and health research," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "We are excited to partner with some of the finest academic institutions in Ohio to support research that could shift thinking on current workplace safety practices and introduce innovative approaches to preventing injuries and illnesses among Ohio's workforce."

BWC created the research grant program as a part of the Another Billion Back plan that returned $1 billion to Ohio public and private employers last summer. The program is designed to support advanced research and promote innovation in the areas of workplace safety and health. BWC's Division of Safety and Hygiene, assisted by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, scored applications and selected nine proposals. The Board of Regents assisted BWC in drafting the program guidelines and soliciting proposals from universities.

BGSU's Psychology Department will conduct research into preventing injuries, assault and abuse of Nurse Aides working in long-term residential settings. The long-term objective of the research project is to improve the wellbeing of nurse aides and reduce these incidents in long-term care settings throughout Ohio.

"Nurses in Ohio experience very high rates of injuries that are due to care giving activities as well as physical aggression, verbal abuse, and sexual assault from patients and residents," said William H. O'Brien, Ph.D., Professor, Vice Chair for Graduate Instruction Department of Psychology at BGSU. "Our two-year project aims to identify risk factors for injuries; develop and evaluate a comprehensive injury reduction intervention; and share our findings with nurse aides, employers, and other researchers."

"It is wonderful to see Ohio's colleges and universities as research grant recipients," said Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey. "It speaks well to the work they are already doing, and this new research will make great strides toward keeping Ohio's workforce healthy."

Other higher education institutions selected for research funding include the Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Cincinnati, Cleveland State University and Ohio University. The research projects cover a variety of topics, including:

  • Standards and guidelines for pushing and pulling, Ohio State University, $249,268.89
  • Standards and guidelines for torque wrenches, Ohio State University, $248,931
  • Slips, trips and falls in the wholesale and construction industries, Case Western Reserve University, $249,975
  • Safety for workers in grain bin operations, Ohio State University, $79,396
  • Safe patient handling in long-term care facilities, University of Cincinnati, $249,999.67
  • Total worker health and wellness, Case Western Reserve University, $250,000
  • Safe patient handling among state tested nursing aides in nursing homes, Cleveland State University, $243,948
  • Safety and Six Sigma, Ohio University, $244,981
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