BWC eNews - October 2018

October 2018    
BWC e News

Six safety tips to prevent falls this autumn

The autumn season is finally here but as the temperatures start to cool and the leaves begin to sweep the ground, it’s important to think about another kind of fall – the kind that brings about numerous injuries each year – and the steps we can all take to prevent them.

Each year many people visit the hospital for treatment of injuries associated with falls with one in five falls causing a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury. Most falls are preventable, though, with a few simple precautions. Whether you choose to venture outside to enjoy the crisp, fall air this season or spend more quality time at home, take safety into your own hands and use these tips to prevent a fall.

  • Do one thing at a time. Texting while walking can prevent you from noticing physical barriers and obstacles that may cause you to trip and fall.
  • Slow down when approaching curbs or steps. This will allow you time to adjust to the height difference.
  • Take extra precautions when walking on uneven surfaces, such as outdoor trails. Frequently scan your environment for tripping hazards to allow yourself time to make the necessary adjustments and prevent a fall.
  • Neglecting to use a handrail is one of the most common contributing factors in stairway falls, so be sure to always use a handrail when going up and down stairs inside and outside of the home.
  • Make safety adjustments at home. Get rid of or move things you can trip over, add grab bars inside and outside your tub or shower, and put railing on both sides of your stairs.
  • Improve lighting in and around your home. Add more or brighter lightbulbs, place a night light in poorly lit halls and rooms so that you can find your way in the dark and consider installing motion-activated or timed lighting outside your home to avoid tripping over unforeseen obstacles.

If you do end up suffering from a fall, don’t immediately hop back up and risk falling again. Take a minute to make sure you’re not hurt. If you are not badly injured, try to get up by rolling on your side and slowly getting on your hands and knees. Then use a sturdy object to help get you the rest of the way up. If you are hurt or unable to get up, call for help and keep warm by moving as best you can.

For more fall-related safety tips from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, as well as advice on preventing slips and trips, overexertions and driving related accidents this season, visit

With an aging workforce, you might also want to check out even more tips at Steady U, a site brought to you by our friends at the Ohio Department of Aging

Opioid Workplace Safety Program launches today

BWC’s pilot program to support employers willing to hire workers struggling to overcome an addiction to opioids and other dangerous substances launches in three counties today.

The Opioid Workplace Safety Program will provide up to $5 million over two years to help employers in Montgomery, Ross and Scioto counties hire, manage and retain workers in recovery.

“Many employers are struggling to fill jobs because otherwise qualified applicants have a history of substance abuse or addiction,” said Dr. Terry Welsh, BWC’s chief medical officer. “We also know that folks in recovery have a better chance staying sober if they have a job. What we want to do is give employers resources to help them better manage these workers so everyone wins — businesses boost productivity without compromising safety, and workers have a greater chance of a successful recovery.”

BWC is partnering with county Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health boards to coordinate the pilot program. The boards will identify eligible employers and employees, disperse funding and measure results.

BWC will cover the following:

  • Reimbursement for pre-employment, random and reasonable suspicion drug testing;
  • Training for managers/supervisors to help them better manage a workforce that includes individuals in recovery;
  • A forum/venue for “second-chance” employers to share success stories that will encourage others to hire workers in recovery.

More on the program is available at

More rebate checks coming this month, others expiring soon

Distribution of our $1.5 billion rebate will soon be complete with the delivery of the last round of checks to employers that participate in the Group Retrospective Rating Program. Those checks will go out this month.

All other employers: you should have received your checks in July and early August. Those checks have a 90-day life and some have already expired.

BWC began sending the checks in batches on June 28. The first of six batches expired Oct. 3 and all outstanding checks will expire by the end of October.

The following table shows expiration dates listed by issue date:

Issue Date         Expiration Date                    

6/28/18               10/3/18                                

7/9/18                 10/12/18                                                                

7/11/18               10/16/18                                                  

7/13/18               10/18/18                  

7/17/18               10/22/18                    

7/19/18               10/24/18   

If your check has already expired and you didn’t cash it, BWC will credit your account the amount of your rebate. Credits will apply to any outstanding balances owed and a new check will be issued for any remaining credit on the account.

Ohio Safety Congress & Expo 2019: Save the dates!

Plan now to attend the 2019 Ohio Safety Congress & Expo (OSC19) March 6-8, 2019 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Last year, more than 8,000 attended this freeevent, the largest and longest-running regional occupational safety, health and workers' compensation conference in the U.S.

Visit the OSC19 webpage for more information. Those interested in exhibit space can click on “EXHIBIT” for details.

BWC eBriefs

From the BWC Blog

The craft brewery industry is rapidly expanding in Ohio. BWC, OSHA and craft brewery associations don’t want safety to get lost in all that growth, says Bernie Silkowski, BWC Director of Loss Prevention. Read how the Ohio Craft Brewery Alliance seeks to elevate safety in the industry in Bernie’s blog, Safety is brewing in a growing Ohio industry.

Next employer webinar Oct. 25

During the October employer webinar, we’ll get you up to speed on employees working out of state, navigating BWC’s updated website, outstanding rebate checks and upcoming deadlines.

Join us Thursday, Oct. 25 at 11:30 a.m. You have the option to attend online, or to visit your local office and view the webinar with BWC staff.

Past webinars are available on our employer webinars page.

Safety Update

All the latest in workplace safety and health is summarized for you right here in the October Safety Update.


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