By Bruce Loughner, BWC Safety Technical Advisor
As the BWC safety subject matter expert for the Industry Specific Safety Program (ISSP), I have seen employers continuously improve the safety culture of their organization by developing strategies to prevent injuries and illness by working with BWC safety staff. Public and private employers that successfully completed the program requirements realized that continuing to improve the safety culture of their organization can yield great returns on investments. Since the program began in 2012 until 2014, BWC awarded $10.4 million in rebates to participants.
The flexibility of the program is an effective way to tailor your safety prevention to your company’s specific industry. It focuses on doing safety assessments, providing employers with year-round training and education opportunities and provides tailored on-site consultations.
Sometimes we cannot see the forest for the trees, and having someone outside of the organization provide a fresh look at safety systems and work processes may be a refreshing opportunity to see things differently. Imagine the benefits of having a safety professional help you identify potential hazards to prevent injuries and save the company money. That’s exactly what thousands of companies in Ohio have achieved since 2012 when ISSP started. I have seen companies’ cultures really improve when they have one of our consultants help them set up a safety team with the emphasis of looking at behaviors rather than physical hazards.
We have three different disciplines of consultants available, a benefit to any employer that pays workers’ compensation premiums.
- Industry and construction safety consultants look at your operation as a whole and help you access safety needs.
- An ergonomic team looks at cumulative trauma disorders that could cause musculoskeletal injuries and assists in developing risk controls.
- Our industrial hygienists look for the unseen hazards within the work area by evaluating noise, air contaminates, chemical exposures, and other environmental hazards.
You can schedule one of these consultants on our website.
Training is another important aspect in the ISSP. BWC has more than 80 educational classes that are industry specific. Loss prevention activities for program credit by our staff can include most types of safety training like hazard communication, confined space, and OSHA 10 hour and accident analysis, just to name a few. Employers can enhance their current safety training by attending one of our professional safety classes.
Another way employers can get training for their employees is to send them to the Ohio Safety Congress. This multi-day safety event is the largest in the state usually drawing more than 6,000 participants. Networking, attending exciting seminars and workshops make this a perfect opportunity to get current safety information in your specific industry.
Participating in ISSP will give an employer a better understanding of the various hazards in the work environment; our consultants can make recommendations for prevention efforts that drive self-sufficient safety systems and resolve the root of the issues. Focusing on preventing injuries and illness is the key to safety. The ISSP focuses employers to look for opportunities to continuously improve on the safety and health of the company’s most valuable resource, its employees.