For immediate release: March 28, 2012
BWC Recognizes the City of Ironton with Safety Innovations Award
City recognized for outstanding workplace safety innovations
COLUMBUS - The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) today recognized the City of Ironton, winner of
the first annual Safety Innovations Awards competition. Ellen Bryan, Miss Ohio 2011 and lightening safety
advocate, joined BWC Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer, to recognize the city for excellence in introducing
safety innovations to keep its workers safe and healthy on the job. The award was presented at BWC's annual
Safety Congress & Expo 2012 (OSC12).
"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 of injuries."
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 tomorrow at the Greater Columbus
Convention Center. A panel of judges selected Ironton from among five nominees for the top award recognizing
the most innovative solutions to increasing safety and reducing workers' compensation claims. Safety congress
attendees also voted for the People's Choice awards presented to each nominee in several categories. These
included innovation, simplicity, cost savings, risk reduction and presentation.
Ironton's water distribution department experienced a number of back and hand injuries due to the use of manual
tools when turning water valves and repairing broken water pipes. The city was nominated for its purchase of a
hydraulic trailer that has reduced hand and back injury claims. The reduction in claims resulted in an
estimated second year savings of $188,000. The city also received a People's Choice Award in the cost
savings category for introducing also experiencing an attractive return on investment.
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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