While having insurance coverage for accidents and injuries is quite critical, ways to prevent certain injuries and accidents is just as important. The same principal is true in the workplace and for workers' compensation insurance. Although many workers take solace in the fact that if they face a workplace injury the related expenses will be covered, employers need to create a safe environment that reduces the risk of injury in the first place.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation seems to understand the importance of prevention and recently awarded the city of Blue Ash an $11,900 grant. The money allows the fire department to buy three specialty chairs, which allows the first-responders to slide the chairs up and down a staircase.
The chairs are equipped with a motorized track that attaches to the stairs. The benefit of the chairs is that they limit the amount of manual labor EMS crews have to undergo when maneuvering around staircases at the response sites. EMS personnel are often required to transport individuals and these chairs can help carry patients if a crew member is unable. Not only do the chairs improve the safety and efficiency of the response crews but it also increases patient safety.
First responders work in a very physically demanding field and likely welcome the addition of the specialty chairs. Employers in similar fields should take note of this development and consider ways in which to improve the comfort and safety of employees. The workers' compensation system is no excuse for not proactively implementing protocol or equipment to reduce risk.
Source: News Cincinnati, "Blue Ash Fire Department receives grant from Ohio BWC," April 30, 2013