BWC recognizes the City of Ironton with Safety Innovations Award 

Published 9:34 am Thursday, April 5, 2012



The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) recently recognized the City of Ironton as the winner of the inaugural Safety Innovations Awards competition.

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Ellen Bryan, Miss Ohio 2011 and safety advocate, joined BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer, to recognize the city for excellence in introducing safety innovations to keep its workers safe and healthy on the job.

The award was presented at BWC’s annual Safety Congress & Expo 2012.

“Safety and prevention are key to keeping workers’ compensation costs as low as possible, and Ohio companies are innovating each day to protect their workforce,” BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer said.

“We are pleased to see so many Ohio businesses taking great initiative in creating safe work environments that minimize the risk of injuries.”

The Safety Innovations Awards are new this year to OSC12. The event is the state’s largest and longest-running occupational safety, health and workers’ compensation conference.

A panel of judges selected Ironton from among five nominees for the top award recognizing the most innovative solutions to increasing safety and reducing workers’ compensation claims.

Safety congress attendees also voted for the People’s Choice awards presented to each nominee in several categories. These included innovation, simplicity, cost savings, risk reduction and presentation.

Ironton’s water distribution department experienced a number of back and hand injuries due to the use of manual tools when turning water valves and repairing broken water pipes.

The city was nominated for its purchase of a hydraulic trailer that has reduced hand and back injury claims. The reduction in claims resulted in an estimated second year savings of $188,000.

The city also received a People’s Choice Award in the cost savings category for experiencing an attractive return on investment.

Bryan is a national spokesperson for lightning safety through a partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She began promoting her personal platform, “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors,” after her sister Christina was struck by lightning while working in 2000.

Christina suffered lifelong disabilities, leaving her with limited mobility and unable to speak. Ellen served as the spokesperson for both the 2009 and 2010 National Lightning Safety Weeks in June.

The four other People’s Choice award winners include Aexcel (Mentor, Lake County), the City of Akron (Summit County), Green Lines Transportation (Carroll County) and Marion Goodwill Industries (Marion County).