LIMA — The best way to reduce the costs of workers’ compensation has been to ensure that workers don’t need it in the first place.
That was the message brought to the Lima Rotary Club by Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (OBWC) Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison during the club’s Monday meeting at Veterans Memorial Civic Center.
While addressing Rotarians, Morrison mentioned the many initiatives the OBWC undertakes to keep Ohio’s workers, such as firefighters and social workers, and its work environments safe.
For example, Ohio fire departments qualify for a number of bureau grants that allow them to purchase equipment that allows firefighters to scrub away some of the carcinogenic debris that tends to dirty their outfits and cause skin cancer. Such grants decrease the amount the OBWC has to pay out in the long run, Morrison said.
Altogether, the bureau rewards up to $15 million in grants to Ohio private businesses and public entities. Grant uses include but are not limited to purchasing hydraulic adjustable tables to prevent carpal tunnel and back problems for factory workers, deploying wellness coaches to curb rates of diabetes and obesity through the Better You, Better Ohio program or helping health care companies buy lift cots to assist EMTs and nursing home caregivers when lifting patients.
At the end of the day, because of the bureau’s safety programs, Morrison said an extra 20,369 employees are able to return home safely.
Morrison has also recently been recommended by Sens. Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown and nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as U.S. Federal District Court Judge for the Southern District of Ohio. Recommendations are vetted by the White House and Senate Judiciary Committee before confirmation is considered by the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee received Morrison’s recommendation in mid-April. Morrison did not comment on her recommendation when asked.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.