Rachel Friesel (l) and Lauren Zacharich (r) demonstrate the new lifts at Hilty Home in Pandora with Amanda SLick (center) posing as a resident. All three are State-tested Nurse Aides at Hilty Home.
Rachel Friesel (l) and Lauren Zacharich (r) demonstrate the new lifts at Hilty Home in Pandora with Amanda SLick (center) posing as a resident. All three are State-tested Nurse Aides at Hilty Home.

PANDORA — The most frequent Worker’s Compensation injury reported in Ohio is from lifting people.

On Monday afternoon Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer visited Hilty Home, Inc, in Pandora, to present the company with a $39,600 Safety Intervention Grant. The Senior care center will use the grant to purchase patient lift systems that will protect workers from injuries as they transport patients around the facility.

Last year Governor John R. Kasich approved an increase in funding for the safety intervention grant program from $5 million to $15 million. With this increase, every qualifying employer’s dollar is matched with three dollars. The program is available to any Ohio state-fund or public employer who wishes to purchase equipment to substantially reduce or eliminate injuries and illnesses associated with a particular task or operation. The program is designed to work and partner with Ohio employers to establish safety intervention best practices for accident and injury prevention.

Locally, the families of Richard Reese and Charles Kinsinger gave memorial gifts to initiate a fundraiser to collect the local share for the lifts. Local resident Doug Luginbill then approached local businesses and chambers asking for contributions to the local share.

Eight lifts were purchased for Hilty Home at a total cost of $56,000. The local share donated for the lifts was $16,400. The lifts are being placed in eight semi-private rooms, allowing use of the lifts for 16 residents.

“This is a win-win program,” said Buehrer. “It drives down the number of injuries, meaning the employers are seeing a 66 percent reduction in Workers’ Compensation costs.”

“I am so thankful for this grant and for the local families who made the purchase of these lifts possible,” said Jason Cox, Executive Director of Hilty Home.

Three Hilty employees, Rachel Friesel, Amanda Slick and Lauren Zacharich, all STNAs (state-tested nurse’s aides), demonstrated how the machine works to visitors during the check presentation.

“It is very convenient,” said Zacharich. “It allows us to easily get a resident any place in the room much safer.”

BWC’s Safety Intervention Grant Program assists Ohio employers in reducing illnesses and injuries and to create a partnership with them to establish best practices for accident and injury prevention.