For immediate release: April 28, 2017
Lt. Governor Taylor, BWC announce $44 million investment in workplace safety and wellness
Initiative part of $1 billion rebate approved by BWC's Board of Directors today
COLUMBUS - Lt. Governor Mary Taylor and Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison today announced a $44 million
investment in workplace safety, health and wellness.
The safety initiative is part of the $1 billion rebate plan proposed by Gov. John Kasich last month and approved by BWC's board of directors this morning.
Taylor and Morrison were joined by State Fire Marshal Larry Flowers and Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities Director John Martin for the
announcement at the Wesley Glen Retirement Community in Worthington. Methodist ElderCare, which operates Wesley Glen, received a healthy worksite
award at the Ohio Business Council's annual Healthy Worksite Awards ceremony in January.
"Each day, millions of Ohioans leave their homes to go to work, provide for their families and drive economic growth in Ohio," said Lt. Governor
Mary Taylor. "We owe it to Ohio's workers and their families to ensure our workplaces are safe and that those workers are able to return home each
day after their shift."
The new initiative calls for $44 million over two years to improve wellness and safety for workers across Ohio. This includes a new wellness
program, funding for specific programs to help firefighters and those who work with children and adults with disabilities, and an education
campaign to address common injuries at work and in the home.
"We at BWC have a strong history of promoting safety in the workplace, as evidenced by record-low claims," said Morrison. "This program is about
expanding that effort directly to workers and creating a culture of safety among all Ohioans."
The initiative is expected to launch in January and includes:
A fact sheet is available here.
With this morning's green light by its board of directors, BWC will move forward with its Third Billion Back rebate plan the agency announced in March.
BWC will prepare to send more than $1 billion in rebates to more than 200,000 private and public employers. Eligible employers will begin receiving
checks in July totaling 66 percent of premiums for the policy year that ended June 30, 2016 (calendar year 2015 for public employers).
Follow BWC on Twitter.
- $6 million annually for a new health and wellness program for Ohioans working for small employers (50 or fewer employees) in specific
high-risk industries, as well as injured workers with certain types of injuries. Services include smoking cessation programs, health
coaching and chronic disease management.
- An extension of the current annual funding level of $15 million for Safety Intervention Grants, setting aside $4 million a year
for two high-risk occupations:
- $2 million for fire departments to purchase equipment, including personal protective equipment, to minimize exposure to dangerous
- $2 million for employers that serve disabled children and adults; funds will support training and equipment aimed at preventing injuries among social
and health care workers providing these services.
- A $2 million statewide safety awareness and education campaign for slips, trips and falls, overexertion and motor vehicle accidents, which are
responsible for more than 60 percent of workplace injuries. The effort will include online and mobile training resources that address safety at
home and at work.
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