The state of Ohio through the Bureau of Workers Compensation, initiated a program to provide up to $3 to $1 matching grants to help provide safety equipment interventions for local companies and organizations.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Safety and Hygiene Grants represent a unique opportunity for employers to subsidize the cost of improving workplace safety. The Ohio BWC Division of Safety & Hygienics Grants can be award from 3 programs: (1) Safety Intervention Grant$ Program, (2) Drug-Free Safety Program (DFSP) grants, and the (3) Workplace Wellness Grant$ Program. For the purpose of this blog post, the focus will be on the Safety Intervention Grant program.
The Safety Intervention GRANT$ Program allows any employer who pays into the state-fund for the BWC to apply for assistance towards the purchase of equipment to improve the safety of a particular task or operation. The goal of this program is to provide employers with a means to reduce worker injuries and fatigue, while also providing the BWC with a case study and reporting on the effectiveness of that purchase. Employers involved in other BWC programs may apply for this one as well. This grant program allows for matching grants to be 3-to-1 from the BWC to the employer’s match. These grants can total up to $40,000 per eligibility cycle.
1. Application process
To apply for the Safety Intervention Grants, an Ohio employer must be a public employer or have kept up with their contributions to the BWC. Each application must demonstrate the need for this safety grant and accurately account for what will be purchased with the funding. There is a broad list of unapproved purchases that exclude leasing equipment, improving properties, use in offices, passive devices, or training. Additionally, employers are limited to how often they can repeat receiving this grant; based on their previous year’s payroll total as explained in the chart below.
The_application process begins with an on-side visit by a local BWC safety consultant, before applying online. This visit will help create a baseline assessment of the safety practices at the company.To schedule a consultant to visit, call BWC’s Division of Safety & Hygiene at 1-800-644-6292.
After the visit, the next step requires the gathering of various metrics on the company’s basic performance, safety measures, and documentation of the area of concern. Following the data gathering, it is important to figure out which intervention is right for the safety situation, finding the right vendor, and receiving a detailed quote for the proposed intervention.
There is one more meeting that needs to be arranged with a BWC consultant to discuss the safety equipment that you are interested in. Then you have all the materials needed to write up the grant proposal, and are ready for the application.
2. Application Process
The online application process involves sending all employer information with baseline data to the BWC. Required details include any injury reports from the problem area and with initial status of the intervention documented. In addition to the online application, the Budget and Statement of agreement section must be mailed to the BWC. All vendor quotes must be included with the signed budget and agreement.
The last step involves filling out a Vendor Information Form, IRS form W-9, and the Direct Deposit of Electronics Funds Transfer. All required forms can be found here.
These safety intervention grants assist hundreds of Ohio companies each year. Tens of millions of dollars have been awarded for safety interventions. In August 2015, 57 grants were approved throughout 34 of Ohio’s counties totalling more than $1.56 million in grants.
The information gathered through the application process shapes future recommendations for safety and health best practices throughout the state of Ohio. Case studies offer companies with similar safety issues to find effective solutions and proven vendors.
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