For immediate release: March 28, 2012
BWC Recognizes City of Akron with Safety Innovations Award
City recognized for outstanding workplace safety innovations
COLUMBUS - The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) today recognized the City of Akron with a People's
Choice award during the first annual Safety Innovations Awards competition. The city received the award at BWC's
annual Safety Congress & Expo 2012 (OSC12). Ellen Bryan, Miss Ohio 2011 and lightening safety advocate, joined
BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer, to recognize five employers from across the state. BWC nominated the
employers for excellence in introducing safety innovations to keep their workers safe and healthy on the job.
"Safety and prevention are key to keeping workers' compensation costs as low as possible, and Ohio companies
are innovating each day to protect their workforce," said BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer. "We are pleased
to see so many Ohio businesses taking great initiative in creating safe work environments that minimize the risk
The Safety Innovations Awards are new this year to OSC12. The event is the state's largest and longest-running
occupational safety, health and workers' compensation conference. It wraps up Thursday at the Greater Columbus
Convention Center. Safety congress attendees voted for the People's Choice awards presented to each nominee in
several categories. These included innovation, simplicity, cost savings, risk reduction and presentation.
The City of Akron received a People's Choice Award in the Risk Reduction category for introducing a workplace
safety solution that significantly reduced or eliminated safety and/or ergonomic risk. Employees of the City
of Akron (Summit County) Public Utilities Bureau routinely lift manhole covers weighing up to 200 pounds to
access underground equipment. The task resulted in several back, wrist and finger injuries. The city was nominated
for its purchase of "The Magnetic Manhole Buddy" lifting system, a mechanism in which a magnet attaches to the
manhole cover and with little effort lifts the cover to removed it, reducing the risk of injuries.
Bryan is a national spokesperson for lightning safety through a partnership with the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration. She began promoting her personal platform, "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors," after
her sister Christina was struck by lightning while working in 2000. Christina suffered lifelong disabilities,
leaving her with limited mobility and unable to speak. Ellen served as the spokesperson for both the 2009 and
2010 National Lightning Safety Weeks in June.
The four other People's Choice award winners include the City of Akron (Summit County), Green Lines
Transportation (Carroll County), the City of Ironton (Lawrence County) and Marion Goodwill Industries
A panel of judges selected the City of Ironton for the competitionâ€™s top award.
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