The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) secured approval on Feb. 10 to spend $70 million in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 on grants for Ohio employers to improve workplace safety.

The approval by the Ohio Controlling Board increases BWC’s safety grants funding to $35 million a year, a 75% increase over the agency’s current two-year budget for the program.

“This is one of those areas where it’s a positive thing to run out of funding because it demonstrates Ohio employers are placing a priority on worker safety,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud. “I appreciate the Controlling Board’s approval, which allows us to keep the momentum going and continue our efforts to ensure Ohio’s workers return home each day safe and sound.”

Funded by employer premiums, the Safety Grants program has already reached its 2020 appropriation of $20 million. BWC’s Board of Directors approved the increase at its Jan. 31 meeting. The Controlling Board’s vote authorizes BWC to distribute the additional funds to Ohio employers.

The grants, up to $40,000 per employer, provide private and public State Insurance Fund employers funding primarily for equipment intended to reduce the risk of workplace injuries and illnesses. The grants support a range of employer types, including first responders, schools, manufacturers, and others. More information on the program and grant types can be found at bwc.ohio.gov or at https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/downloads/blankpdf/SafetyGrantInfographic.pdf for a fact sheet.

The deadline for applying for safety grants for fiscal year 2020 funding is March 31. Applications for FY2021 funding will be accepted beginning July 1.

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