Ohio Governor Unveils Program To Reduce Workplace Injuries

Gov. Bob Taft yesterday unveiled the Workplace Accident Reduction\r\nprogram that will reward Ohio employers who run safe workplaces.

Gov. Bob Taft yesterday unveiled the Workplace Accident Reduction program (W.A.R.) at the Ohio Bureau of Workers'' Compensation (BWC) public employer summit.

"We want to create opportunities that benefit the front line and lower the bottom line," said Taft. "This new program rewards employers who run a safe workplace, and it opens new opportunities for those injured on the job."

The W.A.R. program is a five-point program that focuses on the following BWC safety initiatives:

  • return to work -- physicians and managed care organization determine optimal return-to-work date.
  • presumptive authorization -- allows physician to treat workers up to 45 days after the injury without prior authorization from a managed care organization.
  • remain at work -- provide early intervention and minimize the number of days an employee is off work.
  • vocational rehab services -- if a worker cannot return to a job 30 days after the optimum return-to-work date, BWC and the managed care organization will provide vocational rehabilitation to ensure a safe return to work.
  • transitional work grants -- provides up to 80 percent of program development costs for employers who develop a transitional work program designed specifically for their businesses and employees.

"Our war on injuries is the next step in the evolution of the workers'' compensation system in Ohio," said Jim Conrad, BWC administrator/CEO.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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