Many people in our state rely on the Ohio workers’ compensation
system to survive from day-to-day. Therefore, knowing that it can be counted upon is extremely important to injured workers and their families throughout the Buckeye State. Recently, state officials have made a point to emphasize what excellent shape the Ohio workers’ comp system is in, which, if true, is great news for the many Ohioans who rely on it to make ends meet in the wake of a devastating on-the-job injury.
Late last month, Steve Buehrer, CEO of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), penned a column for The Logan Daily News
. In the piece, Buehrer touted all the improvements the Ohio workers’ comp system had made in recent years, including:
- Awarding $15 million in Safety Intervention grants, which helped around 570 employers buy equipment to improve safety on jobsites.
- Initiating pilot programs designed to improve care for knee and spine injuries.
- Instituting a pharmacy management program, which has resulted in better care, helping to decrease opioid doses by 37 percent since 2010. This helps prevent injured workers from falling prey to addiction or overdose.
Earlier this month, State Rep. Steven Arndt wrote an article that was published in The Beacon
. In the article, Arndt claimed the Ohio BWC was in best shape it has been in the last five years. He specifically pointed out that:
- $35 million has been allocated for workplace safety grants to make a safer environment for Ohio workers.
- The BWC’s claims process has been expedited to help employees receive the proper healthcare they need sooner.
- The BWC has worked with doctors to allow more flexible treatment plans, including referring claims to a specialist if necessary.
- The BWC encouraged a healthy workforce by creating a Wellness Grant Program that addresses symptoms of chronic disease, and other ailments, that contribute to on-the-job injuries.
Hopefully, all this does not turn out to just be a bunch of empty rhetoric and hyperbole. For many of Ohio’s injured workers
, the BWC and the assistance it provides is the only way they can make up for the lost income from being too injured to work and afford the massive medical expenses associated with their injuries.