BWC Increases Safety Grants Funding to $70 million – Deadline for Safety Grant Approaches

BWC Increases Safety Grants Funding to $70 million – Deadline for Safety Grant

Ohio BWC secured approval to spend $70 million in fiscal years 2020 and 2021 on grants for Ohio employers to improve workplace safety. BWC increased the funding to $35 million a year, a 75% increase over the agency’s current two-year budget for the program.  This increase comes just in time as Ohio employers seek grants from the BWC to invest in safety measures. Employers now have until March 31, 2020 to apply for funds in this year’s fiscal budget.

Employers who miss that deadline must wait until July 1st, the first day to apply for fiscal 2021 funding, under BWC’s popular program.  Funded by employer premiums, the Safety Grants program has already reached its 2020 appropriation of $20 million.   However, the BWC’s Board of Directors approved the increase at its January 31st meeting to distribute the additional funds to Ohio employers.  Applications for fiscal 2020 funds via U.S. mail must be postmarked no later than March 31st. The online
application service will close after March 31st and not re-open until July 1, 2020 the first day of fiscal year 2021.

The March 31st deadline applies to the following grants:
• Safety Intervention
• Employers Working with Persons with Developmental Disabilities
• Firefighter Exposure to Environmental Elements
• School Safety and Security
• Workplace Wellness
The Safety Grants, providing up to $40,000 per employer and supporting a range of employer types, are available to all Ohio state-fund, private and public taxing district employers to purchase equipment to eliminate or reduce workplace hazards. Find more information on the Safety Grants program.
BWC Expands Worker Recovery Program

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) joined the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Clark, Greene, and Madison counties on February 4, 2020, to announce the board’s participation in BWC’s Substance Use Recovery and Workplace Safety Program (SUR-WSP).  Among its features, BWC’s program incentivizes local employers to hire, better manage, and retain workers in recovery from substance use disorder by funding drug screenings and special training for managers who work with those in recovery.

SUR-WSP launched in October, 2018 in three pilot counties: Montgomery, Ross, and Scioto. Other counties participating in the program are Pike, Adams, Lawrence, Scioto, Mahoning, Lorain, CrawfordMarion, and Paint Valley.
BWC funds cover the following:
• Reimbursement for pre-employment, random and reasonable suspicion drug testing.
• Training for managers/supervisors to help them better manage a workforce that includes individuals in recovery.

More information about the program can be found on the BWC Website.