BWC to Increase Safety Grant Funding to $70M

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will increase its funding for safety grants to $70 million. The increase must be approved by the state Controlling Board at its Feb. 10 meeting for final approval.

The increases total $15 million more per year in fiscal 2020 and 2021. The program has already reached its 2020 appropriation limit of $20 million – along with $6.4 million in requests pending approval – prompting the increase.

“The demand from Ohio employers for these grants has been tremendous,” said the bureau’s CEO, Stephanie McCloud, in a statement. “I’m pleased the board has taken this step to allow more employers to get the money they need to make workplaces safer and healthier across the state.”

The grants, up to $40,000 per employer, are available to private and public State Insurance Fund employers for training, wellness programs and equipment aimed at reducing the risk of injury and illness.

As of Jan. 3, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has approved $8.2 million in school safety and security grants, $5 million in safety intervention grants for manufacturers and other businesses, $1.2 million in body armor grants for Ohio law enforcement agencies, $725,00 for fire departments, $247,000 for social workers and others who work with people with disabilities and $82,000 in workplace wellness grants.

Employers can apply for safety grants through March 31. Applications for fiscal 2021 will be accepted starting July 1. 

Information about the grantmaking process, as well as online applications, is available here.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.