Ohio BWC's Opioid Workplace Safety Program Launches Today
It will provide up to $5 million to employees in three counties struggling with the addiction crisis
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation's (BWC) pilot program to support employers willing to hire workers struggling to overcome an addiction to opioids and other dangerous substances launches in three counties today.
The Opioid Workplace Safety Program will provide up to $5 million over two years to help employers in Montgomery, Ross and Scioto counties hire, manage and retain workers in recovery.
“Many employers are struggling to fill jobs because otherwise qualified applicants have a history of substance abuse or addiction,” said Dr. Terry Welsh, BWC’s chief medical officer. “We also know that folks in recovery have a better chance staying sober if they have a job. What we want to do is give employers resources to help them better manage these workers so everyone wins — businesses boost productivity without compromising safety, and workers have a greater chance of a successful recovery.”
The BWC is partnering with county alcohol, drug addiction and mental health boards to coordinate the pilot program. The boards will identify eligible employers and employees, disperse funding and measure results.
The BWC program will cover the following:
- Reimbursement for pre-employment, random and reasonable suspicion drug testing;
- Training for managers/supervisors to help them better manage a workforce that includes individuals in recovery;
- A forum/venue for “second-chance” employers to share success stories that will encourage others to hire workers in recovery.
More on the program is available at bwc.ohio.gov.