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OSHA Extends Compliance Date for Electronically Filing 300As to December 15, 2017

December 1, 2017

According to a national OSHA news release issued on Nov. 22, “To allow affected employers additional time to become familiar with a new electronic reporting system launched on August 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has extended the date by which employers must electronically report injury and illness data through the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) to December 15, 2017.

“OSHA’s final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses sets December 15, 2017, as the date for compliance (a two-week extension from the December 1, 2017, compliance date in the proposed rule). The rule requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness information they are already required to keep under existing OSHA regulations. …

“OSHA is currently reviewing the other provisions of its final rule to Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses, and intends to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking to reconsider, revise, or remove portions of that rule in 2018.”

Here’s an OMA recorded webinar about how to submit your 300A, which is due from virtually every Ohio manufacturer with 20 or more employees. (Use your My OMA login; the webinar is accurate except for the new filing deadline of December 15, 2017.) 11/22/2017

Committee Passes Bill to Deny Illegal Aliens Workers’ Comp. Benefits

December 1, 2017

After listening to a long list of opposition testimony, the House Insurance Committee passed House Bill 380, which would block illegal aliens from receiving benefits through Ohio workers’ compensation system.

A similar provision was included in the House passed version of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) budget bill earlier this year. That provision was stripped from the bill during Senate deliberations.

House Bill 380 contains an amendment which would ensure that employers who act ethically and legally during the hiring process would not be subject to new litigation claims. 11/30/2018

Ohio’s Injury Rate Below National Average

December 1, 2017

“Results from a national study show nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in Ohio took a nine percent tumble last year and fell well below the national average for the fourth consecutive year. Ohio experienced 2.7 injuries per 100 full-time employees in 2016, bettering the national average of 3.2,” reported the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).

BWC wrote: “The labor statistics show an injury rate among Ohio private employers at 2.7 per 100 workers, below the national average of 2.9. A 6.1 percent decline in total private sector injuries from 2015 means 17 fewer Ohio workers were injured each day in 2016 than in the previous year. …

“The results coincide with an overall drop in workplace injury claims in the BWC system. There were 87,883 allowed claims for Ohio employers insured by BWC in 2016, a 16.8 percent drop from 2010. This is the lowest number of claims dating back to at least 1997, when there were more than 277,000 claims.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics survey can be found here. 11/22/2017

PTSD Bill has First Senate Hearing

November 17, 2017

This week Senators Frank LaRose (R-Hudson) and Edna Brown (D-Toledo) provided sponsor testimony for Senate Bill 118, which would provide Ohio workers’ compensation benefits to certain emergency personnel for a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) arising from employment without the current requirement of an accompanying physical injury.

This would be a major shift in Ohio’s workers’ compensation law. Unlike previous versions of the bill, Senate Bill 118 would limit benefits to one year and workers who qualify could not simultaneously receive compensation from BWC and a state retirement system disability benefit for PTSD.

A BWC actuarial analysis of the bill found that it would cost local governments $98 million in claims cost. By comparison local governments’ total premium payments now are $190 million.

This proposal has long been opposed by the business community, including OMA, due to the fundamental shift of providing benefits for mental illness without an accompanying physical injury. 11/16/2017

Electronic OSHA 300As are Due December 1

November 17, 2017

Here’s a reminder that by December 1 2017, all covered establishments must electronically submit to OSHA information from their completed 2016 Form 300A. Generally speaking, all manufacturers with 20 or more employees are considered covered establishments.

OSHA has provided a website that offers three options for data submission: manually enter data into a web form; upload a CSV file to process single or multiple establishments at the same time; or transmit data electronically via an API (application programming interface).

Here’s more from OSHA.

And here is a recorded OMA webinar that reviews the requirements (use your My OMA login). 11/10/2017

Next BWC Employer Webinar is November 30

November 17, 2017

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) November webinar will cover combinations due to acquisitions and mergers, the $15,000 Medical-Only Program and cost-containment strategies, among other topics.

The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 30 at 11:30 a.m. To attend online, RSVP here. You may also opt to attend in-person at a BWC office. 11/15/2017

NIOSH Creates Robotics Research Center

November 17, 2017

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) created the Center for Occupational Robotics Research (CORR) in September 2017 to address the safety of workers who use, wear, or work near robots.

The center’s work includes evaluating potential benefits and risks of robots in the workplace, conducting workplace interventions to prevent robot-related worker injuries, and developing guidance for safe interactions between humans and robots.

Read more here. 11/15/2017 

OMA’s 2018 Safety Webinar Topics Announced

November 10, 2017

More than 160 OMA members chose from among 23 potential safety topics for the 2018 safety webinar series. The top 12 vote getters are now prioritized for monthly webinars in 2018.

Here are the planned webinars. Register for them at My OMA.

OMA safety webinars are free for members who purchase their workers’ compensation services from the OMA. (All other members – $29/webinar; non-members – $39/webinar.)

Subject matter expertise comes from OMA Connections Partner, Safex. 11/6/2017

3 Mistakes to Avoid in a New Workers’ Compensation Claim

November 10, 2017

According to OMA Connections Partner, Dinsmore, employers should recognize three common mistakes in determining a valid workers’ compensation claim and in preparing to defend an invalid claim. Read about them here.

Dinsmore is one of OMA Workers’ Compensation Services’ trusted firms for Industrial Commission hearing representation. 11/6/2017

Self-Insurance Bill Gets Proponent Hearing

November 3, 2017

House Bill 268, which would expand the number of Ohio companies eligible for self-insurance by creating a second “B” fund, received its second hearing this week in the House Insurance Committee.

Two witnesses testified in support of the bill, the Ohio Trucking Association and BarryStaff Inc., a staffing company.

Manufacturers remain concerned about the bill’s potential to weaken Ohio’s Self-Insured fund. The OMA Safety and Workers’ Compensation Committee will be discussing the bill at its meeting on Wednesday, November 8. Register here for phone or in-person attendance. 11/2/2017