COVID-19 Program Updates

2020 in-person luncheons are cancelled until further notice.

Update from the Ohio BWC on 7/8/20:

Dear safety council member,

As a valued member of an Ohio safety council, we want to inform you of important updates to the BWC Safety Council program for the upcoming fiscal year, that started July 1.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio Safety Councils will conduct all meetings virtually (online only) this fiscal year. This is the safest way to hold meetings as we work to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio. We expect most safety councils will choose to host virtual meetings this year. However, if that is not the case with your local program, we will connect you with a neighboring safety council that will host you until in-person meetings resume.

The decision to go virtual will also make participation as easy as possible for you as you focus on resuming your operations and keeping your workforce safe.

In light of the difficult and unusual times, we will not be offering a rebate for participation nor the performance rebate (for those eligible) to employers who participate in the BWC Safety Council program.  

While this is not the usual direct financial reward for attending, we believe your business will still receive valuable workplace safety information and resources by attending meetings online. What you learn at upcoming virtual meetings can help with cost savings and keeping your workers safe from injuries and illness at work.

Look to your local safety council for information on upcoming meetings and programming as they remain your source for occupational safety and health and workers’ compensation information and resources!   


Michelle Francisco

BWC Safety Council Program Manager


Update from the PCSC on 6/30/20:

There will be no in-person PCSC meetings until further notice. We’re currently waiting on a decision from the Ohio BWC on how to move forward. With that being said, the PCSC Steering Committee is currently looking into opportunities to host monthly webinar training. Please stay tuned, we’ll update you as soon as we have more information. Thank you for your patience!

Update from the Ohio BWC on 4/20/20:

Dear Safety Council Rebate Program Participants,

We thank you for your patience as we’ve determined how to proceed with the FY20 Safety Council Rebate Program in the midst of COVID-19.

As you know, we directed safety council sponsors to cancel March, April, and May safety council meetings in light of public health concerns. And today’s announcement will eliminate the need for sponsors to host a June meeting. As a result of these cancellations, we realize it is impossible for many of you to complete the program’s FY20 rebate eligibility requirements.

Therefore, we will provide the FY20 rebate to safety council members who, as of Feb. 29, 2020, had attended at least FOUR safety council meetings. This determination was based on crediting each member with one meeting credit for each cancelled meeting, the maximum of two external training credits and waiving the CEO attendance and calendar year 2019 semi-annual report requirements.

This paragraph is NOT relevant to the PCSC: Although we realize a small number of safety councils host more than one meeting a month late in the program year, we are granting relief for only one safety council meeting credit per month in March, April, May, and June. This resolution reinforces the program’s goal of active participation for the purpose of education, networking and resource sharing and, unfortunately, members who condense participation to the latter part of the program year will not appreciate relief from this solution.

Ultimately, employers we determine have earned the rebate under the revised guidelines will receive the maximum percentage rebate allowed per their BWC group-rating status:

  • 2% for employers enrolled in BWC’s Group-Retrospective-Rating Program and eligible for the participation rebate.
  • 2% for employers enrolled in BWC’s Group-Experience-Rating Program and eligible for the performance bonus – there will be no claims data measurement calculation.
  • 4% for employers not enrolled in a BWC Group-Rating Program.

Your safety council sponsor will submit July 1, 2019 through February 29, 2020 attendance records to us when normal business operations resume. The timeline for the processing of these rebates is yet to be determined but we will continue to update safety council sponsors when you should expect FY20 safety council program rebate checks.

Our most sincere interest is the health, wellness and safety of Ohio’s workforce. Be safe and take care.

Michelle Francisco

BWC Safety Council Program Manager



Stay Cool! How to Reduce Heat Stress During COVID-19 (Live)

Episode 182: This is a live recording of our Virtual Safety Council meeting on Thursday, September 10, 2020. The topic was Stay Cool! How to Reduce Heat Stress During COVID-19 and it was presented by Shelly McCullough, Certified First Aid, CPR, AED Trainer, Swift First Aid. For more information about the PCSC, visit today! Sponsored by UH Portage Medical Center.

Accident Investigation Safety Mastermind starts Oct 6!

We’re excited to announce that our first Safety Mastermind group starting on Tuesday, October 6, 2020!  This group is free for members ($100 for non-members) and will focus on accident investigation & analysis. See below for more information. Click here to view the flyer.

Why join a safety mastermind?

  • Learn, grow and take your safety program to the next level
  • Network & problem solve with peers
  • Facilitated by an Ohio BWC industrial safety consultant


  • Meets every other Tuesday, 1pm-2pm, via Zoom Meeting, starting Oct 6, 2020, ending Dec 15, 2020.
  • Limited to 10 participants (5 minimum)
  • Must complete Application/Agreement Form (available both as a PDF & Word doc for your convenience)
  • Application Deadline: Thursday, Oct 1, 2020

Accident Investigation Analysis: This program will consist of six sessions completed over a twelve-week time period. Attendees will be expected to attend every other Tuesday from 1:00pm till 2:00pm to participate in live sessions. During these sessions various aspects of safety and health accident investigation will be explored including but not limited to: written investigation procedures, facility accident report development, training of investigators, Managed Care organizations role and expectations and OSHA recordkeeping requirements. After each session participants will be matched with a new accountability partner and assigned projects to complete and report back on at the next session.

What is a Safety Mastermind? The Safety Mastermind Series is a set of 1-hour meetings facilitated by a safety & health expert in which individuals will collaborate on a specific topic. During each of the session’s individuals will work on developing and improving areas within their organization based on the stated topic. Participants can expect to end the session with a deeper understanding of the subject matter, improved policies and procedures within their own facilities and an overall improvement in their safety culture. The series is designed to allow for a deeper dive into a specific subject and create an environment of accountability and improvements. This series also creates great networking opportunities for information and idea sharing related to safety and health issues. Due to the interaction and feedback sessions attendance will be limited to 10 attendees and registration is first come first serve.

[Inspiring Safety] Partnering to Solve Problems

Episode 180: Linda F. Martin, PhD, joined us to chat about inspiring safety and partnering to solve problems! Dr. Martin is the founder of The Soteria Society and currently serves as the Department Chair for Safety Programs (BS, MS, and PhD) at Capitol Technology University.  For more information about the Portage County Safety Council, please visit our website today! Sponsored by UH Portage Medical Center.

A Closer Look: 4 Keys to Reduce the Spread of COVID-19 at Home or Work

Episode 179: Dr. Kristen Dickerson, Statewide Health, Wellness, & Special Program Manager at the Ohio Center for Occupational Safety & Health (Ohio BWC), joined us for a post-presentation interview to take a closer look at COVID-19 and answer some of the tougher questions. Click here to watch a video recording of her full presentation from August 13th, 2020, titled, COVID-19: Unmasking A Novel Pathogen. For more information about the Portage County Safety Council, please visit our website today! Sponsored by UH Portage Medical Center.

[Inspiring Safety] Making Safety Fun

Episode 178: Justin Deflumeri is the Health & Safety Manager at Monogram Foods in the greater Boston area overseeing the safety of over 600 employees. He also serves as a member of ASSP’s Executive Board and is the self proclaimed “EHS male model.” He joined us to chat about inspiring safety and how to make it fun for employees!  For more information about the Portage County Safety Council, please visit our website today! Sponsored by UH Portage Medical Center.

August 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to our monthly newsletter for August 2020!

Our goal for the newsletter is to connect our members to relevant safety resources, all linked together in one convenient location every month. We hope you find this resource useful and valuable!

Please share with your colleagues!

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  1. OSHA’s COVID-19 F.A.Q.’s
  2. 5 Ways to Shift Your Safety Culture. Ami Gignac & Katie Woodhall, Managing Partners at Sparrow Tale, joined us to chat about how to shift safety culture through management commitment, employee engagement, communication, training and consistency! (43:47)
  3. Video – COVID-19: Unmasking A Novel Pathogen. This is a live recording of our Virtual Safety Council meeting on Thursday, August 13, 2020. The topic was COVID-19: Unmasking A Novel Pathogen and it was presented by Kristen Dickerson, PhD, Statewide Health, Wellness, & Special Program Manager, OCOSH-Ohio BWC.
  4. [Inspiring Safety] Becoming an Industrial Athlete. George Nelson‘s LinkedIn videos inspired us to do an entire podcast series on #inspiring #safety! He joined us on Zoom to chat about having real conversations and how to start seeing yourself as an “industrial athlete” to ensure longevity. (15:40)
  5. August’s Safety Update from the Ohio BWC Library. Each edition provides up-to-date news & safety information.
  6. Pathways Lighting Requirements: August’s Safety & Hygiene Corner.
  7. PCSC Podcasts: Our podcasts are now available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podbean, & Stitcher! Access local & relevant workplace safety information right through your phone! Subscribe today!


  1. FY21 Membership Renewal: Time to renew as we LEVEL UP IN SAFETY with our new Virtual Safety Council program! Join today!
  2. August 27, 2020 – Finding Facts, Not Faults: How to Improve Safety After an Injury, presented by Nicholas Coia, MPA, Industrial Safety Consultant Specialist, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Sponsored by UH Portage Medical Center. Follow link to register today!
  3. Podcast Apps: Our podcasts are now available on Google Podcasts & Apple Podcasts!


  • Free webinar from UH: Suffering from Back Pain? Treat Back Pain and Get Active Again – Jeffrey Nelson, MD. Aug 13, 2020, 05:00 PM