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Effective Date of Beryllium Rule Pushed Back

March 3, 2017

OSHA is proposing to delay the effective date of the rule entitled Occupational Exposure to Beryllium, from March 21 to May 20 to allow for further review and consideration.

The extension is in keeping with a Jan. 20 White House memorandum that directed the review of any new or pending regulations. However, per OSHA, it would not affect the compliance dates of the beryllium rule, which begin on March 12, 2018.  3/2/2017

Sound Levels – There’s an App for That

March 3, 2017

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has developed a new, free mobile application for iOS devices that measures sound levels in workplaces.

The NIOSH Sound Level Meter app displays real-time noise exposure data based on NIOSH and OSHA limits. Visit the app webpage for more information.  3/2/2017

BWC Safety Councils Rebated almost $10 Million Last Year

March 3, 2017

It pays to be an active member of your local safety council – literally.

Employers who are part of the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Safety Council Rebate Program can earn up to a 4-percent annual rebate on their workers’ compensation premium by fulfilling certain attendance and performance goals.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, almost 5,000 Ohio employers fulfilled the eligibility requirements necessary to earn that rebate and received a combined $9.6 million dollars for their efforts.

Find the safety council nearest you. More from BWC here2/28/2017

Employers Receive $895,000 in Safety Grants

March 3, 2017

Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison announced that 34 employers will share more than $895,000 in grants to purchase equipment designed to substantially reduce or eliminate workplace injuries and illnesses.

The Safety Intervention Grants were approved in January. 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 match up to a maximum of $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. Learn more about the Safety Intervention Grant Program. View success stories about previous grant recipients on BWC’s YouTube channel. 2/28/2017

BWC Administrator Presents Budget Bill

February 24, 2017

This week Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator and CEO Sarah Morrison defended the agency’s proposed budget, HB 27, in testimony. Administrator Morrison testified that the budget request is flat from the previous budget and highlighted, that over the last six years, private employer rates have dropped an average of 28.2%, saving employers $755 million. She presented the agency’s strategic priorities and accomplishments.

The bill proposes several policy changes that Morrison explained, including:

  • Expediting compensation to employees awarded temporary total disability (TTD) where they don’t have ready access to required wage documentation, which delays their compensation. The BWC proposes to pay minimum calculable TTD payments to an injured worker until the calculation can be completed to determine the proper amount. BWC will subsequently true-up TTD compensation.
  • Streamlining operations to dismiss the backlog of more than 20,000 suspended applications for permanent partial disability (PPD), so called “C-92” applications, while preserving injured workers rights to PPD. Currently, there is no mechanism to dismiss the C-92 application other than death of the injured worker.
  • Allowing the agency and stakeholders to communicate electronically where appropriate, instead of by mail.

The House will continue hearings on the bill.  2/23/2017

BWC Phone System Upgraded for Security

February 17, 2017

Businesses and injured workers who use the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s automated phone system, 1-800-644-6292, will see security changes intended to better protect their sensitive information.

Beginning this week, callers will need more than just their policy or claim number. Injured workers will also be asked for the last four digits of their social security number and their date of injury. Businesses will be asked for their federal tax ID number (FEIN or SSN) and the ZIP code for the mailing address on the policy.  2/13/2017

OSC17 is March 8-10 – Registration is Free

February 10, 2017

 

The 2017 Ohio Safety Congress & Expo (OSC17), sponsored by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, is less than a month away. There is no charge to attend!

By attending the safety congress, you and your team will learn to:

 

  • Prevent workplace injuries and illnesses;
  • Achieve better outcomes for injured workers; and
  • Reduce workers’ compensation claims costs.

There are more than 200 educational sessions.

  • 94% of OSC16 attendees believed that there is a potential to impact their organizations after attending this event;
  • OSC16 achieved a 93% attendee satisfaction rate; and
  • Almost 90% of the attendees claimed they would implement what they learned in their workplaces.

Register here. And don’t forget to say hi to your OMA team at booth #434!  2/6/2017

BWC and Industrial Commission Budgets Introduced

February 10, 2017

The General Assembly has introduced both the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) budget (HB 27) and the Industrial Commission budget (HB 28). The bills, which are historically filed separately from the State Operating Budget, usually have a swift passage by the General Assembly.

A summary of policy changes in the introduced versions is included in this comparison document, and BWC prepared this summary of budget facts. Hearings are expected to begin shortly in the House.  2/9/2017

It’s February! Post Your OSHA Form 300A

February 3, 2017

Employers are reminded to post their OSHA Form 300A, Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, between February 1, 2017 and April 30, 2017. The Form 300A lists the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred during the previous year and must be posted even if no work-related injuries or illnesses occurred during the year. It should be displayed in a common area where notices to employees are usually posted so that employees are aware of the injuries and illnesses occurring in the workplace.

A company executive must certify that he or she has examined the OSHA 300 Log and that he or she reasonably believes—based on his or her knowledge of the process by which the information was recorded—that the annual summary is correct and complete.  2/1/2017

Supreme Court Awards TTD, Disregards Violation of Work Rule

February 3, 2017

In a 5-2 opinion of State ex rel. Cordell v. Pallet Cos., Inc., the Supreme Court of Ohio found that the Ohio Industrial Commission abused its discretion by denying the claimant’s application for temporary-total disability (TTD) compensation after he was terminated following a workplace injury for violation of a work rule that occurred before the injury and was discovered as a result of the injury.

This case, which involves an employee’s violation of his employer’s drug-free workplace policy, and subsequent compensable injury, is of interest to virtually all employers.

Justices O’Donnell and Kennedy dissented from the majority opinion.

Read a summary of the facts and decision from OMA counsel, Sue Wetzel, of Bricker & Eckler.  1/31/2017