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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

FAQs for Employers About OSHA

November 18, 2022

OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has published this comprehensive series of FAQs to answer employer questions. The online document addresses recordkeeping, employee complaints, agency inspections, agency citations, the process of challenging inspections, state OSHA plans, and more. 11/16/2022

Salary Continuation or Temporary Total Compensation?

November 11, 2022

When an employee is injured on the job and cannot immediately return to work, employers may face the question of whether to offer salary continuation or permit temporary total disability compensation to be paid under workers’ compensation.

To help employers make the right decision, Bricker & Eckler, the OMA’s general counsel, has published this insight. 11/10/2022

Three Ways to Minimize OSHA Recordables

November 11, 2022

EHS Today has published this article, which reviews the differences between recordable, reportable, and non-recordable OSHA events. The article also provides insight on how employers can reduce the number of recordable incidents while mitigating potentially life-threatening injuries. 11/10/2022

BWC Chief Addresses OMA Members

November 4, 2022

Ohio BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud addressed nearly 80 members at the Nov. 1 meeting of the OMA Safety and Workers’ Compensation Committee.

McCloud said the BWC continues to see fewer workplace injuries as Ohio’s claims rate is now lower than those of neighboring states. She touted the BWC’s Workforce Safety Innovation Center, which offers R&D grants to encourage more Ohio-made personal protective equipment — and informed members that the 2023 Ohio Safety Congress and Expo will be held March 8-10 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Gongwer News Service reports that the BWC is still in a strong financial position, despite a decline in total assets compared to a year ago. As of Sept. 30, the State Insurance Fund held a net $6.1 billion in assets. 11/1/2022

 

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