Ohio Fire District Increasing Workplace Safety To Protect 1st Responders
Columbus, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) - Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer today visited the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District (Highland County) to recognize its exceptional efforts to maintain a safe workplace. Buehrer presented Assistant Fire Chief Chad Hamilton with a $30,000 check for a patient transport system for the city's medic units through BWC's Safety Intervention Grant Program. The visit is part of increased efforts to educate employers and workers about the importance of workplace safety and the resources available through BWC.
"We are pleased to partner with the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District on making these safety improvements," said Buehrer. "The best claim is one that doesn't happen in the first place, and BWC's safety grant program helps employers to accomplish that goal. We hope that more Ohio businesses and public employers like Paint Creek will take advantage of our safety grant program."
The Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District offers a number of services through its emergency medical personnel and fleet, including transporting emergency patients to the hospital; water, rope and off-road rescue; and public educational outreach programs on health and related issues. Employees conduct a number of tasks that leave them vulnerable to injury, including manually loading and unloading patients into ambulances. Common injuries include back and shoulder sprains, crushed fingers, lacerations, and sprains to upper extremities. To alleviate the risk for workers, the city is using its grant to purchase a Ferno iNIX patient transport and loading system that mechanically lifts and lowers the cot into and out of the ambulance.
BWC's Safety Intervention Grant Program assists Ohio employers in reducing illnesses and injuries and to create a partnership with them to establish best practices for accident and injury prevention. Ohio private and public employers are eligible for safety intervention grants, which include a 3-to-1 matching amount up to a maximum of $40,000. Quarterly data reports and follow-up case studies help BWC determine the effectiveness of employers' safety interventions and establish best practices. The total amount of available money was recently tripled to $15 million as part of the bureau's Billion Back plan, which also included $1 billion in rebates and steps to modernize BWC's billing processes.
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