News and Analysis
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 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
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.
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
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
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.
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
After a similar measure failed to survive the budget bill earlier in the year, Reps. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) and Larry Householder (R-Glenford) presented sponsor testimony on a new bill, House Bill 380, which would make illegal immigrants ineligible for workers’ compensation coverage in Ohio.
The idea, long debated in and around the Statehouse, had its first hearing in the House Insurance Committee this week.
OMA urged caution on the previous bill attempt to ensure that civil justice gains are not eroded by a new cause of action and that any changes must protect an employer from frivolous litigation. 11/2/2017
Last week the House Insurance Committee accepted a substitute version of House Bill 268 which is designed to allow more Ohio companies to qualify for self-insurance for workers’ compensation purposes. A comparison document outlines the changes that were accepted, including:
“Requires the Administrator of Workers’ Compensation to waive the requirement that an employer have sufficient assets located in Ohio to qualify for self-insuring status if the employer holds a rating of Ba2 or higher according to Moody’s or a comparable rating from a similar agency.”
And, “Specifies the Administrator may require such an employer to obtain an irrevocable letter of credit, a bond, or any other security the Administrator determines necessary to ensure the employer’s solvency. Also retains the Administrator’s rule-making authority to require an employer to provide additional security.” 10/18/2017
The House Insurance Committee this week heard proponent testimony on House Bill 269, which contains a multitude of workers’ compensation reforms including a name change for the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to “Office of Worker Safety and Rehabilitation.”
The bill proposes to extend benefits, adds dependent benefits, and requires the Administrator to provide incentives to employers to participate in loss prevention programs developed by the Superintendent of the Division of Safety and Hygiene, among its multiple provisions.
Rep. George Keiser from the North Dakota legislature testified in support of the bill, describing how his state’s system works and the effect of reforms enacted. 10/19/2017
The BWC’s next employer webinar, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 26 at 11:30 a.m., will cover recent legislative changes and what they mean for Ohio employers, upcoming deadlines for public employers, motor vehicle accident claims and the group rating program.
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