PANDORA — The top executive for the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation stopped in Pandora Thursday to tout the agency’s safety programs and recent $1.5 billion dividend for Ohio’s private and public employers.
Stephanie McCloud, BWC administrator and CEO, visited Unarco Material Handling Inc. in Pandora to praise the company for its plan to invest its BWC dividend into new safety equipment and programs.
“Like many employers across Ohio, Unarco understands that investing in safety is smart business,” said McCloud, who presented Unarco leaders with an oversized check for $42,375. “Safe workplaces mean fewer accidents and injuries, steady production and lower costs. That’s good for workers, it’s good for a company’s bottom line and it’s good for our economy.”
BWC issued up to $1.5 billion in dividends to Ohio employers in September and October following strong investment returns, falling injury claims and other cost savings at the agency. The Lima region — Allen, Auglaize, Hancock, Putnam, Shelby and Van Wert counties — received $37.2 million in dividend checks.
Based in Springfield, Tennessee, Unarco manufactures storage rack systems used in warehouses for some of the nation’s largest retailers and Fortune 500 companies.
Kelli King, operations manager at the Pandora location, said the company will spend its dividend on an AED defibrillator, a weld fume exhaust removal kit, powered tables to minimize manual lifting by workers, and other safety devices.
“Safety is a top priority for Unarco, because we can’t do what we do without our workers,” said King. “We’re excited to invest these funds in equipment and programs that keep our workers safe and healthy.”
Ryan Pollett, Unarco plant manager, said the company wants everyone to come to work every day and make it home to their families safe and sound.
“We push for safety with the practice of safe lifting and to make sure they don’t hurt their back as well as other safety measures,” Pollett said. The company has used some of the funding already to purchase lift tables to assist employees with transporting steel.
BWC’s dividend this year marks the fifth time since 2013 the agency has returned $1 billion or more to its employer members.
In addition to the dividend, Unarco has received nearly $40,000 in safety grants from BWC since 2017.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.