News and Analysis
OSHA is encouraging workplaces to commit to workplace safety and health by participating in Safe + Sound Week, Aug. 10-16. This nationwide event recognizes the successes of workplace safety and health programs, and offers information and ideas on how to keep workers safe. Learn more here. 7/15/2020
Electrical safety violations continue to be among the top standards cited by OSHA for manufacturers. The OMA has made available this recorded, one-hour webinar to help you avoid common electrical citations. The subject matter expert is Safex’s Brian Basagill, who has more than 20 years of construction and manufacturing safety experience. 7/14/2020
Noise-induced hearing loss is the most common permanent and preventable occupational illness. At 11 a.m. (ET) on Tuesday, July 21, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will host a free webinar to address occupational noise exposure, methods for evaluating and reducing workplace noise exposure, and the basic elements of a comprehensive hearing conservation program. 7/15/2020
The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) recently awarded $3,500 cash prizes to five Ohio employers as part of its annual Safety Innovation Awards. The award winners are typically announced at the Ohio Safety Congress & Expo, which did not take place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Four of the five winners were manufacturers including OMA members BASF Fort Amanda Specialties LLC and TFO Tech Co., LTD. Read about their innovations here.
The BWC has placed the award program on hiatus for 2021 and will review the program and prepare to return in 2022. 7/6/2020
The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is redesigning its website “to better serve our injured workers and employer customers.” The new site is expected to be implemented on July 28. The website’s address will remain bwc.ohio.gov.
To facilitate a smooth transition to the new site, BWC will temporarily “freeze” updates to the current site’s content, not updating the existing site with news releases, policy updates, or any other new content until July 28, unless the updates are deemed critical. 7/6/2020
All private employers have until August 15 to true up payroll for the 7/1/19 through 6/30/20 policy year with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).
Although BWC has deferred premium payments until Sept. 1, employers still must true up for this past policy year by the August 15 deadline.
For additional information, view the Payroll true up reports overview page. General guidelines for reporting payroll to BWC may be found on the What payroll is reportable page (note the changes associated with the COVID-19 pandemic).
As you true up, it’s a good time to take advantage of the Go-Green Rebate Program; employers can receive a 1-percent premium rebate, up to $2,000 each policy year. Visit the Go-Green web page to review program requirements. 7/6/2020
The BWC’s July 14 employer webinar (1:30 – 1:55 p.m.) will cover COVID-19 updates, policy year 2020 estimated annual premium, private employer annual true up, important dates, and the monthly safety tip.
Visit the Employer webinars page to attend or view recorded presentations from past webinars. 7/8/2020
With Independence Day weekend nearly here, members have raised questions about guidance for employees who are traveling, especially to areas experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The CDC recently revised its considerations for travelers within the U.S. The page contains:
- COVID Data Tracker, which includes this map showing the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in every U.S. county.
- Tips to protect yourself and others during your trip;
- Tips for overnight travel; and
- Frequently asked questions.
OMA Connections Partner Roetzel has published this recap of House Bill 81, recently signed by Gov. Mike DeWine to implement several important changes to the Ohio workers’ compensation system. The new law, which takes effect Sept. 14, includes a reduction in the statute of limitations for filing a violation of specific safety requirement (VSSR) application — reducing the threshold from two years to one.
Roetzel’s experts advise employers: “If an employee waits more than one year from the date of their injury or occupational disease to file their VSSR claim, such claim should be summarily rejected by the employer based upon a statute of limitations defense.” 6/30/2020
The end of July will bring deadlines for key programs under the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. By July 31, private employers:
- interested in participating in the Safety Council Rebate Program must enroll in a local safety council;
- participating in the Drug-Free Safety Program (DFSP) or Industry-Specific Safety Program (ISSP) must submit a Safety Management Self-Assessment (SH-26); and
- in their first program year of DFSP must complete online the accident-analysis training (new supervisors must complete the training within 60 days of becoming a supervisor).
In the meantime, employers should be receiving their 2019 true-up notice and can start reporting payroll online. 7/2/2020