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For immediate release: Sept. 23, 2016

Safety report shows decline of workplace injuries in Ohio

Despite increase in employment, rate of decline nearly double national average

COLUMBUS - The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Board of Directors was briefed during yesterday's meeting of its Medical Services and Safety Committee on a report showing the declining rate of workplace injuries in Ohio is outpacing the nation.

Dr. Abe Al-Tarawneh, Superintendent of BWC's Division of Safety and Hygiene, reported a 16.7 percent decrease in the rate of private sector injuries in the BWC system between calendar years 2010 and 2014. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses shows the rest of the nation experienced an 8.6 percent drop over the same time period. During that period, total injuries in Ohio's BWC system dropped from 105,568 to 95,802, a decrease made more significant considering a 7.5 percent growth in employment during the same time period.

"Ohio is becoming a leader in the workers' comp industry with an impressive offering of workplace safety programs and services, and the state is now exceeding the national trend of declining injuries," said BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison. "Ohio employers are recognizing the benefits of injury prevention and investing in a culture of safety, including partnering with BWC to make their workplaces safer."

Dr. Al-Tarawneh’s report, which also shows an additional 4 percent drop in injuries in 2015 alone, also highlights the effectiveness of Ohio's occupational health and safety programs and services in preventing injuries. The Division of Safety and Hygiene increased the number of employers utilizing one or more of its services by 70 percent between 2009 and 2015.

"During the past few years, the Division of Safety and Hygiene has significantly improved and expanded its operations," said Al-Tarawneh. "We have introduced a mix of pioneering programs and services, along with new partnerships with educational institutions on safety research that could impact workplaces across the country. I encourage Ohio employers to take advantage of these services that can help protect their workforce by preventing injuries."

Employers can visit bwc.ohio.gov to learn about BWC programs and services that can assist in lowering workers' comp costs by making workplace safety improvements.

The next meeting of the BWC Board of Directors is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 28, 2016.

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