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BWC Changes Statute of Limitations for Filing Claims … and More

September 15, 2017

Substitute House Bill 27 goes into effect September 29, 2017, and there are a number of changes that may impact businesses, including claimants will have one year to file a workers’ compensation claim involving an injury or death, instead of two.

Read more from OMA Connections Partner, Bricker & Eckler. 9/13/2017

NIOSH to Hold Webinar on Occupational Safety for the Aging Workforce

September 8, 2017

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will host a webinar Sept. 28 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. ET on best practices for addressing occupational safety and health challenges posed by an aging workforce.

The webinar will feature presentations on: research to address age differences at work; coaching to help workers manage and reduce the strain that chronic illness may present; and translating scientific knowledge on aging and its societal implications into policy-focused practice.

For more information and to register, visit NIOSH’s website. 9/1/2017

BWC Safety Innovation Applications Due Sept. 30

September 8, 2017

Innovations come in many forms: equipment, machinery, processes and procedures. Read on to find out how you could win cash awards for your innovative ways.

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) established the Safety Innovation Awards to encourage and recognize innovative solutions that reduce the risk of workplace injuries and illnesses. Preventing harm benefits everyone – employers and employees alike. Showcasing the most successful innovations helps other Ohio employers in their safety efforts and can inspire them to develop innovative solutions of their own.

Learn more and apply by September 30 here. 9/6/2017

MOU Executed to Stop Raid on BWC Funds

August 25, 2017

OMA members will recall that, over the objections of the business community, the state budget contained a raid on Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) funds, a terrible precedent of using employer-paid premium for state operating purposes.

As reported to members earlier, the OMA and three business association partners worked with the Kasich administration to stop the raid. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has now been fully executed to do just that. The MOU is signed by Tim Keen, director of the Office of Budget and Management, on behalf of the administration. 8/23/2017

OMA Director Testifies on Silica Rule

August 25, 2017

Dave Johnson, CEO of Summitville Tiles, Inc., and longtime director of the OMA, testified before the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration this week, asking for a repeal of the pending “silica rule” promulgated by the Obama administration. Johnson is working in conjunction with the effort of the National Association of Manufacturers on this regulatory overreach.

Johnson testified: “The shale and clay that are in use in our industry have a molecular structure belonging to minerals known as aluminosilicates … with only about 15% of their body composition containing crystalline (or free) silica.

“This particular molecular structure is NOT known to cause silicosis, as validated by years of the scientific research and documentation that the structural clay products industry has undertaken …

“In fact, the aluminosilicate compound that comprises 85% of our shale and clay body is essentially identical to the clay body composition which is used in the “Kitty Litter” industry, an industry which has, in fact, received an exemption from the ‘Silica Rule’ under consideration here.”

“(P)lease note,” he said, “that we have not had a single case of silicosis at Summitville Tiles in our 105 years in business.” 8/23/2017

A Billion Dollars Now in Employers’ Hands

August 18, 2017

Most employers should by now have received their Billion Back checks from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).

Private employers participating in the Group Retro Program can expect to see their rebate checks in early fall.

If you are not in a Group Retro Program and you haven’t received your Billion Back rebate, call the BWC at (800) 644-6292.

Most rebate recipients will receive Internal Revenue Service (IRS) 1099 tax documents. BWC will send 1099 forms no later than Jan. 31, 2018. 8/17/2017

Preparing for the Unexpected

August 18, 2017

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) wants Ohio employers to know about a new tool that connects you to safety and security resources that will help you protect your staff, customers and communities in emergency situations.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety’s My Safer Ohio Business Clearinghouse is a web platform that connects businesses, law enforcement and public safety organizations. The site offers easy access to a variety of tools that will aid in the development of emergency training and plans. You’ll also find links to public safety organizations like Ohio Homeland Security and the Emergency Management Agency that can help you strengthen your emergency preparedness.

Browse the My Safer Ohio Business Clearinghouse. 8/17/2017

BWC Webinar to Cover Employer Billing

August 18, 2017

BWC’s series of employer webinars continues Thursday, Aug. 24. The 11:30 a.m. webinar will cover employer billing. RSVP here.

The June and July Webinars are also available online:

BWC Has New Medical Director

August 18, 2017

From a Bureau of Workers’ Compensation press release this week: “The former chief medical advisor for the Ohio Industrial Commission will join the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) as its chief medical officer (this week).

“Terrence B. Welsh, MD, who specializes in physical medicine and rehabilitation, brings extensive experience with the workers’ compensation system to his role, where he will oversee all medical components of the agency and direct medical policy.

“Dr. Welsh served from 2007 to 2014 as medical advisor to the Industrial Commission, which hears appeals of BWC and self-insured employer decisions. He is also a past member of BWC’s Health Care Quality Assurance Advisory Committee. He most recently served as chief of medical affairs for Fairfield Medical Center in Lancaster.”

Dr. Welsh is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. 8/15/2017

Raid of BWC or IC for State Budget Halted

August 11, 2017

After a series of negotiations with the Kasich administration, the OMA with other business groups have agreed to terms in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will prevent the transfer of any funds from the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) or Industrial Commission (IC) to the General Revenue Fund (GRF) to help balance the state budget.

The transfer provision was included in the state budget bill and allowed the administration to reach into both the BWC and IC in order to shore up state tax revenue shortages.

The OMA and other major business groups opposed the provision in the budget stating that it improperly transfers employer dollars set aside for the workers’ compensation system, sets a bad precedent and creates constitutionality questions which could leave the state vulnerable to legal action.

The MOU is expected to be executed soon. 8/10/2017