Columbus, OH – The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) recently announced $30 million in grants for research and development of personal protective equipment (PPE) innovations to enhance workplace safety. BWC’s new Workforce Safety Innovation Center (WSIC) will administer the grants with a goal of accelerating the process for innovations from proof-of-concept to the marketplace.
Based on data collected from BWC claims, WSIC will identify priority areas of focus for cutting-edge technologies and products that will reduce the frequency and severity of on-the-job injuries.
“Ohio is known for its innovation, from the Wright Brothers to Thomas Edison,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “These grants will help spur the next innovation to help keep Ohioans safe on the job.”
WSIC’s objective is to conduct proof-of-concept work from grant applicants to accelerate the creation of new technologies and applications for the prototyping of PPE innovations. This initiative will encourage strong relationships and collaboration among higher education, research institutions and industry to continually create new ways to protect Ohio’s workers.
“Our goal remains the same – prevent workplace injuries from occurring in the first place. The Workforce Safety Innovation Center will help drive the development of products and technologies that protect Ohio workers,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud.”
Applicants must be from an Ohio not-for-profit higher education institution or research organization.
Leading the WSIC is Sandi Golden-Vest who joined BWC in November 2021. Sandi’s background includes more than 24 years of experience in various programmatic and leadership roles. Prior to joining BWC, Golden-Vest served as Federal Grants Administrator and Public Health and Healthcare Training and Exercise Program Manager at the Ohio Department of Health, where she served for over 14 years. During the pandemic, Sandi played a vital role in the state’s Personal Protective Equipment Task Force and leadership team.
Source: Ohio BWC