Special Topics in Safety Management

Innovative Safety Solutions Recognized in Ohio

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) recently presented individual awards of up to $6,000 to five Buckeye State employers who developed innovative solutions to reduce workplace injuries.

Protective helmet closeup shot

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The bureau’s annual Safety Innovation Awards were presented during the 2017 Ohio Safety Congress and Expo. Noted BWC Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison, “Sometimes a solution to a safety hazard isn’t readily apparent, and it takes extra effort and ingenuity to address a company’s unique needs and challenge.” She said that’s exactly what the award winners did.

The winners were:

  • Ames Arboreal Group, Columbus. This tree business formerly used mobile wood chippers, but the equipment was hazardous. Owner Nathan Ames came up with a micro grapple truck that lifts debris into a dump trailer, which is taken to a mechanized wood-chipping facility.
  • C and K Industrial Services, Cleveland. Employees of this heavy-duty cleaning business used washing wands that deliver water and solutions at up to 40,000 psi. The equipment was replaced by all-terrain, remote controlled hydroblasting robots.
  • Holloway, Henderson & Martin LLC, Pickerington. At this masonry contractor business, employees manually carried heavy scaffold frames to the erection site. Overexertion and fall injuries were reduced by using a cart that, when fully loaded with scaffold parts, can pass through doorways, fit onto elevators, and maneuver down busy corridors.
  • ICP Adhesives and Sealants, Norton. This business relied on manually operated clamps to attach filling nozzles to cylinders filled with sprayable material. The loads were heavy, and employees were potentially exposed to hazardous chemicals. Now, a pneumatic clamping mechanism with electronic controls is in use.
  • Suburban Steel Supply Company, Gahanna. This steel fabricator handles products that weigh thousands of pounds. Employees, some using forklifts, manually pushed carts on imbedded tracks to transfer products. The winning solution involved motorizing the carts using battery-operated motors and gear reducers. Now employees use handheld controllers and walk beside the cart.