IAIABC Innovation Award 


3rd Annual Innovation Award Recipient: Workplace Safety and Insurance Board

In August 2018, the IAIABC announced the winner of the 3rd Annual Innovation Award, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board was selected for the Innovation Award for its Health and Safety Index, a new tool used to measure the overall safety and health of Ontario’s workplaces.

The Health and Safety Index is an aggregate measure that includes components for prevention, worker empowerment, workplace culture, enforcement, and injuries. Worker interviews were used to help complete the picture when gaps in the data existed. Great effort was taken in the development of the Health and Safety Index so it could be easily adopted by other jurisdictions who are interested in a better understanding of their jurisdiction’s progress in improving workplace health and safety.

The first results of the Health and Safety Index were released on May 8, 2018, and indicated a 1.6% improvement in Ontario’s overall workplace health and safety. The results showed areas where performance could be improved upon, which are being used by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board in collaboration with provincial employers and other industry partners.

About the Innovation Award 

Jurisdictional agencies continually face issues they must either respond to or proactively address. Many of these challenges will not be solved through traditional methods, and agencies need to be creative in finding solutions to hopefully produce positive outcomes. The IAIABC Innovation Award recognizes jurisdictions for using innovative initiatives that address challenges in workers’ compensation regulation and administration.

The Innovation Award was previously awarded to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (2017), the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission (2016), and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries (2016). 


The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board will present on its Health and Safety Index during the Awards Luncheon on October 3, 2018 at the IAIABC 104th Convention. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board's Health and Safety Index will also be featured in the December 2018 issue of IAIABC Perspectives Magazine.

Thank You to the Innovation Award Sponsor

WorkComp Strategies



2nd Annual Innovation Award (2017)

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation was recognized as the winner of the 2017 IAIABC Innovation Award for its innovation and impressive results in building and implementing its pharmacy program.

Ohio’s commitment to addressing pharmaceutical issues in workers’ compensation, including the opioid epidemic, began with a focus on an injured worker’s functional life and ability to return to work. Through multi-stakeholder partnerships, the Ohio BWC created dependency thresholds, collected prescriber information and tracked and monitored utilization, developed a formulary, and in 2016, became the first state to move their prescribing guidelines into state code.

The initiatives undertaken led to new claim opioid utilization decrease by 48% over 4 years; a decrease of 19.5 million doses prescribed between 2010 and 2016; and opioid use for chronic pain dropped by 11% over 4 years. The Ohio BWC also reports a 50:1 return on investment in the program.

Inaugural Innovation Award (2016)

In 2016, the IAIABC awarded two jurisdictional agencies with the Innovation Award: the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, and the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission. 

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries was recognized for its “Return to Work Partnerships Program,” and their initiatives to help workers heal and return to work following a work injury. Over the past two years, the Department changed the culture of its system and vocational services to ensure return to work is its primary focus, enhancing the coordination of care and maintaining engagement of injured workers in the workforce. 

The Virginia Workers’ Compensation Commission was recognized for “Innovation and Automation of ADR in Virginia,” an initiative to enhance the efficiency of mediation services within the agency. The project effectively integrated the Commission’s mediation efforts creating a streamlined electronic process for case assessment, issue identification, scheduling, and resolution.