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For immediate release: June 2, 2016

National Safety Month Highlights Importance of Workplace Safety Education and Injury Prevention

BWC offers Ohio employers free safety courses all year long

Columbus - The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) joins the National Safety Council in recognizing June as National Safety Month, when thousands of organizations across the country raise awareness of what it takes to stay safe at work, on the road and in our homes and communities.

"We at the Ohio BWC want employers and employees to think safety all year round, of course, but June is an excellent time for employers to review and update their safety programs and for employees to be especially mindful of good safety habits," said Ohio BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison.

June brings an end to the school year and an influx of young, less-experienced workers into the work force, some in jobs where they may not be too familiar with certain equipment, be it a deep fryer, a chipper-shredder or a carnival ride. The BWC calls on more experienced co-workers to be vigilant and lend guidance whenever possible. Employers can find related information and resources on BWC's Youth Safety web page.

Heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States, resulting in hundreds of fatalities each year and even more heat-related illnesses, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration. BWC reminds workers to follow these simple tips: hydrate, cover and rest.

  • Hydrate with water every 15 minutes, even if you aren't thirsty;
  • Cover up with light clothes and a hat;
  • Rest regularly in cool shaded areas.
Workers should be trained to watch out for each other and take action if a coworker is struggling on the job or showing signs of heat illness. Additionally, because many outdoor workers change job sites routinely, it's important to become familiar with the work location in case there's a need to call for help.

BWC's Division of Safety and Hygiene is an outstanding resource for Ohio employers seeking consultation on the most effective safety practices. Here are just a few areas to review as we kick off the summer:

  • Emergency preparedness programs - There are many types of emergencies employers face, from natural disasters to terrorist attacks. Employers can review scenarios with their employees so they are prepared to make the best decisions in the event of an emergency.
  • Hazard communications plans - These plans keep record of all hazardous chemicals, how to use them, what to do if an employee is exposed, and where to find that data within the workplace easily. Employees need this training when hired and refreshed throughout their employment. BWC consultants can help employers create a hazard communications plan.
  • First Aid Kits - Check your first aid kit to ensure all supplies are replenished and any medications are not expired. BWC’s video library contains several training videos on first aid in the workplace.
Said Morrison, "Most injuries are preventable if employers and employees work together to recognize potential dangers and warning signs, and have a response plan ready in case of an injury."

For more information about safety, go to bwc.ohio.gov and click on Safety Services to get tips and information about grants and consultations. Employers can call 1-800-OHIOBWC to schedule safety consultations. All BWC safety services are included as part of employers’ premiums at no additional charge.

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Media contacts:
Melissa Vince, 614-466-2956 or 614-202-2329, melissa.vince@bwc.state.oh.us
Bill Teets, (614) 728-8045 or 614-425-0013, william.teets@bwc.state.oh.us

Established in 1912, the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation provides workers' compensation insurance to more than 250,000 public and private Ohio employers. With nearly 2,000 employees and assets of approximately $30 billion, BWC is the largest state-run insurance system in the United States. Our mission is to protect Ohio's workers and employers through the prevention, care and management of workplace injuries and illnesses at fair rates. For more, visit www.bwc.ohio.gov.

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