Columbus, OH – The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has been awarded a grant by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to participate in a program that aims to increase workplace safety by compiling nationwide statistics on occupational injuries and illnesses. Abe Al-Tarawneh, BWC’s Superintendent of Safety and Hygiene, reported to the BWC board of directors the $117,000 grant to include Ohio in the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), the largest occupational injury and illness surveillance system in the country.
“BWC’s participation will allow for a more comprehensive understanding of the nature and extent of occupational injuries and illness in Ohio, as well as benchmark our prevention efforts against the rest of the nation,” said Al-Tarawneh. “BWC’s Division of Safety and Hygiene is taking a more active role in conducting research to analyze industry trends, as well as how and why injuries occur, because we will be most effective in taking action when we know the factors surrounding those injuries.”
The 50 percent matching grant will assist BWC in distributing surveys to 4,000 Ohio employers to collect specific information surrounding injuries and days away from work. This data will be analyzed to publish research reports specific to Ohio at the end of each year. Ohio will also be included in the analyses of nationwide trends in occupational injuries and illnesses.
SOII currently has 44 participating states and territories and the data covers most private-sector industries, as well as state and local government. The data is utilized by employers and employees, policymakers, safety inspectors, health and safety consultants, and researchers for a number of reasons, including identifying and correcting safety hazards to reduce injuries.
The next meeting of the BWC Board of Directors is scheduled for Friday September 28, 2012.
Source: Ohio BWC