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Registration Open for Ohio Safety Congress

January 21, 2022

Registration is open for the 2022 Ohio Safety Congress and Expo (OSC22), which will be held virtually March 9-10. Hosted by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), this is the largest regional safety and health conference in the U.S. Attendance is free for Ohio employers and their employees.

OSC22 will feature more than 40 live broadcast and on-demand sessions that address business strategies, innovation and technology, governance and compliance, workers’ compensation, and professional development. More than 30 exhibitors will be online, including the OMA. Register now. 1/19/2022

OSHA Increases Maximum Penalties

January 21, 2022

The U.S. Department of Labor recently published its yearly increases to the maximum civil penalties that OSHA may assess via citations against employers. OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has published this summary of the agency’s new maximum penalties, which are now in effect.

The firm says employers should understand the full impact of accepting OSHA citations without contesting them, and advises businesses to contact legal experts before paying any fine assessed by OSHA or a state agency. 1/19/2022

Post Your OSHA 300A Log by Feb. 1; Submit by March 2

January 21, 2022

At the end of each calendar year, OSHA requires covered employers to review their OSHA 300 Log for completeness and accuracy — and to complete Form 300A, which summarizes work-related injuries and illnesses.

The agency has begun collecting 2021 Form 300A data. Manufacturers with 20 or more employees must submit the form electronically by March 2, 2022 — and 300A forms must be posted in the workplace from Feb. 1 to April 30, 2022.

See this summary from OMA Connections Partner Safex.

By the way, if you missed our “Introduction to OSHA Recordkeeping” webinar last week, access it on demand at the OMA’s video library. Ohio BWC is offering a similar event on Thursday, Jan. 27. 1/19/2022

Anti-Vaccine Bills Could Undermine Workers’ Comp, Expand Employer Liability

January 21, 2022

In several states, including Ohio, some conservative lawmakers — traditionally champions of lawsuit abuse reform — are leading the charge to expand employer liability if those employers require vaccines. That’s the takeaway from a recent guest editorial in The Wall Street Journal (subscription) authored by Sherman Joyce, president of the American Tort Reform Association.

Joyce warns that if these measures pass, employers will face a “sued-if-you-do, sued-if-you-don’t situation,” while the employer-funded workers’ compensation system is undermined. 1/17/2022

BWC’s ‘One Claim Program’ Enrollment Due Jan. 31

January 21, 2022

The Ohio BWC offers its One Claim Program for employers that have been removed from a Group Experience Rating Program due to a significant claim. The program lessens the financial impact of a large claim affecting an employer’s claims experience.

An employer that meets the eligibility requirements will receive an up-front discount of 20% off the base rate in the first year. Contact Juliet Walker, managing director, OMA Workers’ Compensation Services, to see if your company qualifies. 1/19/2022

Smaller Manufacturers: Learn About ‘Better You, Better Ohio’ Wellness Program

January 21, 2022

At 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, Ohio BWC will host a free 25-minute webinar on the “Better You, Better Ohio!” program. This free health-and-wellness program is for workers of businesses with 150 or fewer employees engaged in higher-risk industries, including manufacturing. 1/20/2022

Employers Statewide Can Get Reimbursed for Drug Testing

January 14, 2022

OMA Connections Partner Working Partners® reports that the Ohio BWC’s Substance Use Recovery and Workplace Safety Program (SURWSP) is reimbursing employers for drug-free workplace program-related purchases, including policy audits and development; employee education and supervisor training; courses and tools to help improve program administration; and drug testing (if employers have a second-chance policy).

All Ohio employers covered by the state’s workers’ compensation fund and current on their premium payments are eligible. Just complete a simple, online form to enroll. Employers can get reimbursed for expenses dating back to July 1, 2019, even if you weren’t enrolled in the program at the time. 1/13/2022

Court Decision Impacts Ohio Workers’ Comp Statute of Limitations

January 14, 2022

Employers are accustomed to the practice of an injured worker filing a request for workers’ compensation or medical treatment days before the applicable statute of limitations in order to keep the claim alive. But as OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore notes in this insight, a recent decision by the Ohio Third District Court of Appeals means the mere filing of a request to amend a claim for additional conditions is not sufficient to toll the statute of limitations as prescribed in Ohio law. 1/13/2022

Do FMLA and Workers’ Comp Benefits Run Concurrently?

January 7, 2022

When a workplace injury occurs, Ohio employers often wonder if Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave runs concurrently with workers’ compensation benefits. The short answer is “maybe,” according to the OMA’s general counsel Bricker and Eckler, which notes that employers have a responsibility to ensure FMLA and workers’ compensation benefits are applied properly. Read the firm’s insight on this important topic. 1/6/2022

Workers’ Comp Implications of Mandatory Vaccination Policies

January 7, 2022

OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward has published this insight into whether workers’ compensation benefits apply to Ohio employees that experience side-effects following a COVID-19 vaccination required by their employer.

The firm indicates that even common side-effects lasting only a few days can create workers’ compensation implications. But the firm also notes that based on current evidence, the vast majority of potential claims for vaccine side-effects appear to be fairly insignificant in terms of employers’ financial exposure. 1/4/2022