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$10 Million in BWC Rebate Checks Remain Uncashed

October 13, 2017

Nearly $10 million in rebate checks from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) remain uncashed by more than 5,500 employers who might not even know it.

The uncashed checks are among the more than 160,000 BWC issued in July as part of the agency’s Third Billion Back rebate initiative. Uncashed checks will expire, or stale date, 95 days after the check’s issuance date. That’s this week for some employers and as late as Oct. 18 for others.

Employers participating in a BWC Group Retrospective Rating Program should receive their checks later this month.

The agency will reissue checks after the stale date following a brief lag time for processing.

Questions? Contact the BWC at (800) 644-6292 or the business consultant or regional manager with whom you may work. 10/9/2017

OMA Workers’ Comp Services Customers: Your Offer is Online!

October 6, 2017

Your 2018/19 OMA Workers’ Compensation Services offer is available to you 100% of the time on your WCS dashboard at My OMA.

The OMA’s enrollment due date for Group Experience Rating is November 13, 2017.

Our enrollment due date for Group Retrospective Rating is January 22, 2018.

Paper offers can be snail-mailed upon request.

Questions? Contact OMA’s Brian Jackson. 10/5/2017

Fall Protection #1 OSHA Cited Standard

October 6, 2017

On Sept. 26, at the National Safety Council’s annual Congress & Expo, OSHA Deputy Director of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust, announced the preliminary list of 10 standards most frequently cited by the agency’s inspectors during fiscal Year 2017.

Fall protection was the most-cited standard for the seventh year in a row, followed by Hazard Communication, and Scaffolding. The only new addition to last year’s list was Fall Protection – Training Requirements, which came in at ninth place. OSHA publicizes the Top 10 list to increase awareness of these standards so employers can take steps to find and fix the hazards to prevent injury or illness.

OMA will soon be fielding its annual member survey of potential monthly safety webinar topics for 2018. OMA prioritizes members’ top picks for monthly safety webinars; subject matter expertise is provided by OMA Connections Partner, Safex. 10/3/2017

Bender Retires from OMA

September 29, 2017

OMA Workers’ Compensation Services Lead Account Manager, Barb Bender, retires from the OMA today.

Barb has worked in Ohio workers’ compensation in various positions for 39 years, more than 14 of which at the OMA.

Barb said, “It has been a sincere honor and pleasure to work with OMA members throughout the years. I certainly will miss everyone!”

She will be playing with the grandchildren, visiting her son and his family in Florida and relaxing.

OMA staff will truly miss Barb’s exceptional industry knowledge and helpful attitude. Godspeed, Barb! 9/25/2017

OSHA Electronic Recordkeeping Rule – File by Dec. 1

September 29, 2017

OMA Connections Partner, Dinsmore, this week posted: “Last month, OSHA launched the Injury Tracking Application on which employers can submit the information from the 2017 Form 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. …

“The deadline by which certain employers must submit the information from the 2016 300As remains December 1, 2017. The two proceedings challenging to the rule remain administratively closed and stayed; however, both proceedings may resume before the December 1 deadline depending on whether OSHA decides to revise or remove portions of the rule before then.”

OMA is offering a webinar on Tuesday, October 17, that will describe who, what and how to file, assuming no rule revisions before the Dec. 1 filing deadline. Covered establishments with 250 or more employees must electronically submit information from OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301. Covered establishments with 20-249 employees must electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300A. See more about the webinar and register here9/28/2017

Big Win for Ohio Employers in the Supreme Court

September 29, 2017

OMA Connections Partner, Bricker & Eckler, posted this week: “… the Ohio Supreme Court issued its decision in the Ferguson v. State of Ohio case, ruling in favor of Ohio’s employers. The Court specifically held that the consent provision … enacted by the legislature in 2006, allowing an employee to dismiss an employer-initiated appeal only with the consent of the employer, is constitutional.

“The Court’s decision reversed an Eighth District Court of Appeals decision …

“This is a BIG win for Ohio’s employers which can now move forward with confidence that their appeal of a workers’ compensation claim into the court of common pleas will not be unreasonably delayed by the claimant.”

Read the post from Bricker here. 9/28/2017

Opioid Infographic Illustrates BWC’s Success, Pharmacy Leadership

September 22, 2017

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has created this infographic summarizing its work over the last six years to rein in excessive opioid prescriptions and the dangers they pose to injured workers, namely abuse, addiction and death.

The infographic summarizes the steps taken to reduce the number of injured workers dependent on opioids from 8,029 in 2011 to 4,101 in 2016, a near 50% drop.

According to the BWC, much of the success is credited to John Hanna, BWC pharmacy director. Per the BWC: “More than anyone, it is John who is responsible for the achievements highlighted in the infographic, as well as for other pharmacy program reforms we’ve implemented to protect injured workers. Along the way, with the backing of BWC leadership, he also built a pharmacy department that is a model in the work comp industry today.”

John retires at the end of this month.

Read more here. 9/21/2017

BWC Grants Topic of September 28 Webinar

September 22, 2017

The next Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) monthly webinar will cover the variety of grants offered through BWC.

The 20-minute webinar will cover Safety Intervention, Drug Free Safety, Transitional Work, Firefighter, Developmental Disabilities, and Wellness Grants.

The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 28 at 11:30 a.m. Register here.

Click here if you would like to view a webinar with BWC staff at one of the local claims offices. This is a nice way to get to know your local BWC staff. 9/21/2017

Northeast Ohio Safety Expo is Oct. 13

September 22, 2017

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and Mahoning County Career and Technical Center (MCCTC) will host the 10th annual Northeast Ohio Safety Expo Oct. 13.

The expo, which will be held at MCCTC, 7300 N. Palmyra Road, Canfield, OH 44406, will link employers to information and resources for keeping their employees safe and healthy on the job.

Educational sessions during the expo, which will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., will cover decreasing accident frequency and severity; active shooter training; dealing with a growing epidemic of drugs in the workplace; and managing workers’ compensation claims.

The expo also will feature displays from 50 safety and health providers.

Various educational credits including safety council credits can be earned by attending the conference.

The cost is $30, which includes a continental breakfast at 7 a.m. and a box lunch.

See more here. 9/18/2017

House Insurance Committee Hears Workers’ Compensation Bills

September 15, 2017

The House Insurance Committee returned this week from its summer recess to kick off its fall hearings. The committee entertained sponsor testimony on two new workers’ compensation bills, House Bill 268 and House Bill 269. Both bills are sponsored by Rep. Mike Henne (R-Clayton).

House Bill 268 would create a second self-insured fund and allow self-insured companies to buy private workers’ compensation policies. In his sponsor testimony for House Bill 268, Rep. Henne said that, “HB 268 will allow more Ohio employers the option to self-insure, and for those that are self-insured the ability to manage their risk as they see fit.”

House Bill 269 would make a variety of changes to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and the state fund. Testifying on House Bill 269, Rep. Henne stated, “The policy changes we are pursuing will help protect workers, give them the care they need if they do get injured and get them back to work as soon as possible, provide appropriate benefits when seriously injured or killed and rebrand the organization to better reflect their mission.”

OMA Safety and Workers’ Compensation Committee members heard from Rep. Henne about these proposals at their June 27 meeting and have ongoing questions about the measures. The committee will continue to consider the bills as they are worked through the legislative process. 9/14/2017