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For immediate release: March 5, 2015

BWC funding workplace safety research at the University of Cincinnati

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 the University of Cincinnati (UC) has been awarded a $250,000 research grant to improve workplace safety. UC is one of six higher education institutions in Ohio selected for $2 million in 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.

UC's College of Allied Health Sciences will receive $249,999.67 to study the effectiveness of a comprehensive safe patient handling program in reducing injuries to employees of long-term care facilities.

"Many facilities say they have a safe patient handling program, but few have successfully controlled the injuries that result from patient lifts, transfers, and repositioning activities," said Susan Kotowski, Ph.D., CPE Clinical Assistant Professor-Rehabilitation Sciences college of Allied Health Sciences. "The project will combine the key factors - lift assist equipment, safe patient handling training, culture change, and compliance to provide a comprehensive systems approach to control patient handling related injuries."

"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 funding include Bowling Green State University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Ohio University and the Ohio State University. The 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
  • 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
  • Preventing injury, assault, and abuse of nurse aides working in long-term residential settings, Bowling Green State University, $249,999
  • Safety and Six Sigma, Ohio University, $244,981

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