COLUMBUS – The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has approved $6.6 million in grants since July 1 to improve school safety and security across Ohio.
BWC’s School Safety and Security Grant Program awards grants of up to $40,000 to help schools purchase equipment to substantially improve safety and security and reduce the potential for injuries. This program is aligned with Governor Mike DeWine’s STRONG Ohio plan, which includes his Ohio School Safety Center initiative and the expansion of Ohio’s statewide school safety tip line.
“It’s important that we continue investing in Ohio schools’ safety, while giving each school the flexibility to invest in resources that are specifically needed for their facilities,” said Governor DeWine. “In addition to the funds from the recent budget, we will continue to make investments that will help safeguard students, teachers, and staff.”
Added BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud: “We’re pleased we can be a part of Gov. DeWine’s vision for making Ohio’s schools as safe and secure as possible. These dollars also keep workers safe in their daily routine activities by paying for equipment that lessens the risk for sprains, strains and other injuries that might arise on the job.”
Sharing the $6.6 million in grants are 219 Ohio school districts and other schools licensed for preschool through 12th grade instruction. A county listing of school districts approved for grants since July 1 can be found online at this web link:
BWC pays $3 to every $1 a school district spends toward eligible equipment, which includes:
* Building/grounds/transportation security enhancements such as interior and exterior security doors and mechanisms (for example, panic bars or other fire code compliant door-locking mechanisms, bulletproof glass, bullet resistant coating materials for existing glass); modifications of building/facility entrances to restrict access; and secured keycard systems.
* Incident response equipment such as equipment bags/backpacks stocked with trauma first-aid supplies; two-way communication devices and software designed to directly interface with emergency responder radio systems; and school-wide panic alarm/panic button systems.
* Other equipment that improves workplace safety.
The program is part of BWC’s larger Safety Grants Program, which is supported by $40 million over two years under Governor DeWine’s 2020-2021 budget for the agency.
Interested schools can visit BWC’s School Safety and Security Grant webpage to learn more about the program and to download a fillable PDF version of the application. Questions or inquiries can be submitted via the BWC Division of Safety & Hygiene’s Safety Intervention Grant email box.