COLUMBUS – Governor Mike DeWine has signed the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) biennial budget into law, providing $15 million to assist employers in hiring, managing, and retaining workers in recovery.
BWC’s Substance Use Recovery and Workplace Safety Program will add nine Ohio counties to the three (Montgomery, Scioto, and Ross) already participating in the program.
An additional $40 million in the budget targets workplace safety under BWC’s Safety Grants Program. The program funds body armor for law enforcement and equipment that reduces firefighter exposure to carcinogens and other toxins, as well as equipment and innovations that improve workplace safety in schools and businesses across Ohio.
“BWC is committed to making Ohio’s workplaces and workers safer and healthier. The major initiatives in the agency’s budget make this abundantly clear,” said Governor DeWine. “From programs that protect our first responders, to another helping our neighbors recovering from addiction get back on their feet, BWC continues to invest in the safety, security and success of our state.”
BWC partners with county Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services boards to coordinate the Substance Use Recovery and Workplace Safety Program. The boards identify eligible employers and employees, dispense funding for drug screens and specialized training for managers, and measure results.
“We thank Governor DeWine for supporting these critically important safety programs that will save lives and reach more employers and communities throughout Ohio,” said BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud. “For workers in recovery, we know having a job plays a major role in helping them stay on a healthy, productive path. In turn, this program allows employers to bring these folks back into the workplace in a safe and supportive way.”