Slips, trips and falls, overexertions and motor vehicle accidents are responsible for more than 60 percent of disabling workplace injuries. In the workplace, most of these accidents are preventable by establishing a strong safety culture throughout the organization.
But, these types of accidents don’t just happen at work — they’re very common at home, too. Because we at the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation care about Ohio employees no matter where they are, we dedicated $2 million statewide to raise awareness for safety and education to address these common accidents as part of our $44 million safety pledge.
This is an entirely new approach for the BWC. Typically, we strive to reach Ohio’s workers through employers. For this initiative, we’re targeting Ohioans, like you, directly. You may have already seen our 30-second commercial on FOX Sports Ohio – it’s the one with the guardian angels, an instantly recognizable symbol of protection. Instead of scaring or shaming individuals into being safe, we have taken a humorous approach to get Ohioans talking about safety in a positive way.
It’s human nature to think that accidents will never happen to you, therefore, many of those most at risk for injury through slips, trips, falls, overexertions and driving related accidents do not have safety and injury prevention top-of-mind throughout the day.
Hopefully, this unexpected humorous approach to safety not only caught your attention and made you laugh, but also inspired you to feel empowered to take your safety into your own hands and practice safe behaviors no matter where you are. As our guardian angel reminds us — “If you don’t care about your safety, who will?”
This approach builds on our current successful safety efforts. Those efforts, which are primarily aimed at helping employers create safer workplaces, have led to fewer work-related injuries and the lowest number of claims in at least two decades. These programs have also proven popular, as the Division of Safety & Hygiene saw a 71 percent increase in the number of employers using its safety programs and services between 2010 and 2015.
Keep an eye out for us this summer — we’ll be making appearances at Columbus Clippers games and sharing our safety message throughout Ohio. You can also learn more about our effort to create a culture of safety in Ohio by visiting BeSafeOhio.com.
Ibraheem “Abe” Tarawneh, Ph.D. is the superintendent of the BWC Division of Safety & Hygiene