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Ohio companies receive grants to improve workplace safety

Many workers rely on a state supported system of benefits to help pay for workplace accidents and the resulting expenses from injuries. The Ohio workers' compensation system can provide benefits in the way of lost wages or medical expenses. But the best thing for workers and employees is to prevent workplace injuries in the first place and make efforts to improve workplace safety.

Nine Ohio companies recently received monetary awards from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation. The money is earmarked to establish projects that carry the goal of decreasing illnesses and injuries at work. The Safety Intervention Grant program matches double the contributions made by employers to such programs, up to $20,000.

The projects include such improvements like purchases of more ergonomic or user-friendly equipment and safer machinery, anti-fatigue mats that assist employees who stand for long periods of time and a number of added mechanical features to reduce strains and injuries from manual operation. Common injuries that are targeted include slips and falls, cuts, bruises, fatigue and exposure to unsafe chemicals.

The awards totaled over $221,000 and will hopefully help employers create safer workplace environments. The overall goal of the grant program is to collaborate with employers to prevent the type of incidents that often lead to workers' compensation benefits.

Both public and private companies were eligible to receive the grant money. The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation will follow up with the companies to check quarterly data reports and perform case studies. The monitoring helps the bureau decide if the money is effectively improving workplace safety and thereby protecting workers and employers.

Source: The Columbus Dispatch, "Workers' compensation grants go to 9 employers," Nov. 12, 2012

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