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Report: Companies Pledge to Reduce MSD Injuries

December 16, 2022

More than 100 companies worldwide plan to significantly reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) by 2025, according to EHS Today. The pledge includes an index to measure the goal.

In 2020 alone, U.S. private-sector workers experienced nearly 250,000 non-fatal MSD injuries severe enough to miss at least one day of work, costing billions of dollars. Watch this on-demand OMA webinar addressing MSD and ergonomics. It includes several recommendations to reduce injuries. 12/14/2022

White House Relaunches COVID-19 Testing Program

December 16, 2022

So far, only around 13% of Americans and Ohioans have opted to get the new Omicron-targeting COVID-19 booster, even though real-world studies have found the booster to be quite effective.

As Americans prepare to gather with family and friends during the holidays, the federal government has relaunched its COVID-19 home testing program. Click here to request four taxpayer-funded at-home tests.

Also, see this page for the CDC’s latest information on COVID-19 boosters — and check out these vaccine communication resources for your workplace. 12/15/2022

Poll: Employees’ COVID-19 Concerns Linger

December 9, 2022

A Gallup poll finds that one in four employees are still “very” (6%) or “moderately” (20%) concerned about exposure to COVID-19 at the workplace. At the same time, one-third are “not too concerned” and 41% are “not concerned at all.”

The CDC’s county-level map presently shows fewer than 10 Ohio counties at high risk for spread of the virus. This county-by-county chart shows Ohio averaged around 200 cases per 100,000 residents as of late November.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Department of Health has published this printable poster to provide details on the updated COVID-19 booster. 12/8/2022

Experts Urge Employers to Review OSHA’s Top 10 List

December 9, 2022

OMA Connections Partner Safex is reminding manufacturers that as they establish their 2023 ESH plan, consider assessing OSHA’s top 10 safety violations from FY 2022.

On Jan. 12, the OMA will offer a webinar to detail OSHA’s top violations list and the agency’s emphasis programs. Register now. 12/8/2022

BWC Chief to Depart Agency on Jan. 1

December 2, 2022

Stephanie McCloud, the administrator of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, will become Gov. Mike DeWine’s new chief of staff starting Jan. 1. Read the report by Gongwer News Service.

John Logue — who served as the BWC’s interim administrator from November 2020 to August 2021 — will again lead the agency after McCloud’s departure. He has served as the BWC’s chief of strategic direction since April 2019 and currently oversees the Division of Safety and Hygiene. 11/30/2022

BWC Announces Updates to Employer Forms, SI Rates

December 2, 2022

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation reports that an updated and improved First Report of Injury (FROI) will be available for use by the end of 2022.

The BWC also notes that a “simplified and condensed” Physician’s Report of Work Ability (MEDCO-14) is available on its website. Also available online are the updated self-insuring employer assessment rates. 11/30/2022

High Court Rules Injured Employee Can Bypass Arbitration to Sue Employer

December 2, 2022

In a 4-3 decision, the Supreme Court of Ohio has ruled that a union worker injured on the job can proceed with a lawsuit against an employer if the claims are not clearly contained in a collective bargaining agreement’s arbitration clause. Outgoing Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor sided with the court’s Democrats to form the majority opinion, according to Gongwer News Service. 11/29/2022

$35M Available in Safety Grants for Ohio Employers

November 22, 2022

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is reopening its safety intervention grant (SIG) program to assist employers in purchasing equipment to protect employees. The SIG program provides 3-to-1 matching funds (up to $40,000) to Ohio employers covered by the State Insurance Fund.

There’s $35 million available to employers across the SIG program. Information on eligibility and policies for each grant can be found on the SIG webpage. 11/21/2022

Seasonal Flu Updates for Employers

November 22, 2022

With at least 4.4 million cases of flu already reported nationwide this season, OSHA has updated its influenza webpage. It includes 2022-2023 flu vaccine recommendations, as well as “quick facts” with links to help protect workers against flu and other respiratory illness.

For updates on seasonal flu activity throughout Ohio, see this map and dashboard from the Ohio Department of Health. 11/22/2022

OSHA Focuses on Ohio Food Manufacturers

November 18, 2022

OSHA has established a local emphasis program focused on food manufacturers in Ohio and Illinois, where injury rates are higher than other states, according to the agency. The emphasis program consists of a three-month outreach phase (which began Oct. 3) to raise employer awareness. Read more in this report by EHS Today.

OSHA encourages food manufacturers to use its free consultation services without risk of penalty. For assistance, contact Keith Bullock with the Ohio BWC’s Division of Safety and Hygiene at (614) 865-9750 or via email. 11/14/2022