Ohio Work Comp Bureau to Distribute $1.1M in Grants to Fire Depts.; $1.2M to Employers

Through a program to protect firefighters from carcinogens and other harmful health hazards encountered by firefighters during their daily work activities, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) will distribute $1.1 million in safety grants to more than 100 fire departments in the state.

The fire departments are receiving the funding under BWC’s Firefighter Exposure to Environmental Elements Grant Program, which helps departments purchase safety gear, exhaust systems and specialized washing machines. Because residue collected on firefighters’ gear during a blaze can cause respiratory disease, cancer and other ailments, it is important not only to wear appropriate protective gear, but also to ensure its cleaned properly.

The BWC also will distribute $1.2 million in safety grants to 43 Ohio employers for the purchase of equipment designed to substantially reduce or eliminate workplace injuries and illnesses.

“Minimizing dangers to employees and weaving safety into the culture of the company are among the wisest decisions an employer can make,” said Dr. Abe Al-Tarawneh, superintendent of BWC’s division of safety and hygiene. “Fewer accidents and injuries mean safe, healthy, skilled and productive employees.”

The recipient employers operate in 27 counties around the state.

The Safety Intervention Grant program matches an employer’s investment 3-to-1 up to a maximum of $40,000. Quarterly data reports and follow-up case studies measure the effectiveness of employers’ safety interventions and establish best practices for accident and injury prevention.

Source: Ohio BWC