News and Analysis
The House of Representatives the week passed HB 27, the workers’ compensation budget, which funds the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
The bill contained one especially notable amendment for Ohio employers: lowering the time within which a claim must be filed from two years to one year from the date of injury. This would bring Ohio more in line with other states and has been a legislative aim of the OMA for years. 5/18/2017
From OMA Connections Partner, Dinsmore: “In a fairly anticipated move, OSHA has announced it intends to delay the July 1, 2017 deadline that would have begun phasing in OSHA’s electronic recordkeeping and reporting rule.
“OSHA’s website states, “OSHA is not accepting electronic submissions of injury and illness logs at this time, and intends to propose extending the July 1, 2017 date by which certain employers are required to submit the information from their completed 2016 Form 300A electronically.”
“OSHA hinted at this delay over the past few months by moving for stays in the cases challenging the rule, … , and by failing to make available a means for companies to submit the data.” 5/18/2017
The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has planned a series of webinars on topics of interest to employers, including BWC program participation, true-up, future dating payments, the benefits of light duty, the upcoming distribution of rebates, and much more.
While you can opt to view these 20-25 minute webinars from your facility, you may also attend in person at any one of BWC’s local service offices. You will have the ability to ask questions on the webinar, but by attending in person, you will also have the opportunity to meet personally with BWC representatives.
Upcoming webinars are scheduled for:
- Tuesday, June 13 at 1:30 p.m.
- Thursday, June 29 at 11:30 a.m.
- Tuesday, July 11 at 1:30 p.m.
- Thursday, July 27 at 11:30 a.m.
Registration is not yet open, but we’ll keep you up to date here in Leadership Briefing. 5/15/2017
Congratulations to CMI Industry Americas, Salem, Ohio! CMI has become one of just 26 Ohio worksites recognized as a model of workplace safety by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
The company recently attained certification through OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) that recognizes small employers operating exemplary safety and health management systems.
CMI designs, installs, upgrades and services equipment for the steel-making industry. The company worked closely with Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) safety experts for approximately four years to earn its SHARP recognition by eliminating safety hazards and making improvements to safety and health programs.
There is an abundance of excellent safety services available from the BWC’s Division of Safety & Hygiene available at no charge to Ohio’s employers. Learn more here. 5/15/2017
This week the House Insurance Committee accepted a new substitute version of House Bill 27, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) budget bill, along party lines. A vote on the bill has been delayed for at least for another week. Democrats objected to some of the new provisions including one heavily supported by the OMA which would reduce the time an injured worker has to file a claim from two years to one.
This document outlines the entire list of changes included in the sub bill.
While the Insurance Committee ran into a few roadblocks with House Bill 27, the Industrial Commission budget bill (House Bill 28) breezed through a House floor vote and now heads to the Senate for its approval. The bill is expected to move quickly through the Senate.
Both bills must be passed and signed by the governor by the end of June. 5/11/2017
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) just released a list of the 26 Ohio employers that will share more than $474,000 in grants to purchase equipment designed to substantially reduce or eliminate workplace injuries and illnesses.
Here is a listing of recipients by county, including descriptions of planned equipment purchases.
The Safety Intervention Grant program provides employers with a 3-to-1 matching amount up to 40,000. Quarterly data reports and follow-up case studies help BWC determine the effectiveness of employers’ safety interventions and establish best practices for accident and injury prevention.
The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Board of Directors Nominating Committee met this week to develop slates of candidates for four seats on the bureau board of directors for submission to the governor.
One of the seats is the position that represents employers with more than 100 employees. This seat is currently held by OMA director Dave Johnson of Summitville Tile. Dave is one of the four candidates on the list submitted by the committee.
This committee is a statutory body charged with selecting candidates for the governor’s consideration. The governor must select a candidate from each slate, or ask the committee for more recommendations. The OMA has a seat on the committee. 5/11/2017
Lt. Governor Mary Taylor and Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison last week announced a $44 million investment in workplace safety, health and wellness.
The safety initiative is part of the $1 billion rebate plan proposed by Gov. John Kasich in March and approved last week by BWC’s board of directors.
The new initiative calls for $44 million over two years to improve wellness and safety for workers across Ohio. This includes a new wellness program, funding for specific programs to help firefighters and those who work with children and adults with disabilities, and an education campaign to address common injuries at work and in the home.
The initiative is expected to launch in January and includes:
- $6 million annually for a new health and wellness program for Ohioans working for small employers (50 or fewer employees) in specific high-risk industries, as well as injured workers with certain types of injuries. Services include smoking cessation programs, health coaching and chronic disease management.
- An extension of the current annual funding level of $15 million for Safety Intervention Grants, setting aside $4 million a year for two high-risk occupations: firefighters and
employers that serve disabled children and adults.
- A $2 million statewide safety awareness and education campaign for slips, trips and falls, overexertion and motor vehicle accidents, which are responsible for more than 60 percent of workplace injuries.
A fact sheet is available here. 4/29/2017
At its meeting last week, the BWC board of directors gave the green light to move forward with the Third Billion Back rebate plan the agency announced in March.
BWC will prepare to send more than $1 billion in rebates to more than 200,000 private and public employers. Eligible employers will begin receiving checks in July totaling 66 percent of premiums for the policy year that ended June 30, 2016.
We’ll keep you posted on details as we learn them. 4/29/2017
OMA Connections Partner, Dinsmore, reminds and updates us about this new OSHA recordingkeeping rule: “On May 11, 2016, OSHA finalized the rule to “Improve Tracking of Workplace of Injuries and Illnesses.” The final rule amended two provisions of OSHA’s recordkeeping standards. As was expected, the rule requires many employers to electronically submit certain injury and illness records to OSHA. More unexpectedly, the rule contains certain anti-retaliation provisions that have been the subject of ongoing litigation.
“The first phase-in deadline requires all covered employers to electronically submit the 300A Summary by July 1, 2017. According to OSHA’s website, OSHA “will provide a secure website” for electronic reporting. Despite the looming deadline, OSHA has not yet rolled out the website for these electronic submissions, nor has OSHA issued any formal statement regarding when employers should expect the secure website to be available.”
And Dinsmore advises: “Although the future of the electronic reporting rule remains uncertain, covered employers should be prepared to submit 300A information by July 1, 2017 should OSHA move forward with the initial deadline and make the reporting website available.”
Read more from Dinsmore about this. 5/2/2017