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December is a good time to reflect on the past business year and plan for improvements in the new year. Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) reminds those in agricultural businesses this should include looking for ways to improve the safety of their operations.
For 2023, BWC has a variety of ways to work with your business to help improve safety, including a new offering for Safety Intervention Grants. Safety Intervention Grants are available to provide financial assistance toward the purchase of equipment to sustainably reduce or eliminate injuries and illness associated with a particular task or operation.
“We have a great opportunity for the agriculture industry to participate in our safety grants. We just recently reopened them,” said Bruce Loughner, technical advisor for the safety and hygiene division at BWC.
Loughner added that employers who can find a type of equipment that would eliminate repetitive motions and manual material handling will be well advised to apply for grant funds.
How does the application process work?
A new BWC Grant Management Portal simplifies the application process for those interested in applying. BWC has a 3 to 1 match, which means that BWC will provide $3 for every $1 of investment by the employer, up to $40,000. Employers will be eligible for up to an additional $40,000 in grant funds every three years. In addition, those who apply must meet the following criteria:
- Have a BWC policy number or account, and have maintained coverage for at least one year.
- Agree to safety reporting requirements in the first year.
How are agriculture industry businesses using this grant?
BWC encourages those in the agriculture industry to be creative in planning for the new year and focus on purchasing equipment that may improve the overall safety of their operations.
Several agricultural businesses have taken advantage of the Safety Intervention Grants to purchase items that not only make operations safer for workers but improve efficiencies and the quality of products being produced. Here is a sampling of items that past grant recipients have been able to purchase:
- Bale grabber system
- Chick-shell separator
- Robotic Boar mover
- Plastic bins (to replace heavier wooden crates) used to transport goods
- Self-propelled bulk loading harvesting aids
- Farm vehicle tarp systems for transporting items
To hear more about the Safety Intervention Grant opportunities available, listen to a recent interview with Bruce Loughner on Our Ohio Weekly.
BWC is committed to helping your business prevent accidents. If you would like to schedule a free safety consultation, contact your local BWC service office, call 800-644-6292, or submit a request online. Please have your BWC policy number ready. A safety consultant will contact you within two business days.
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. We’ve got you Covered.
Established in 1912, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is the exclusive provider of workers’ compensation insurance in Ohio, serving 249,000 public and private employers. With nearly 1,600 employees and assets of approximately $25 billion, BWC is one of the largest state-run insurance systems in the United States. For more, visit bwc.ohio.gov.
Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
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