News and Analysis
March is Workplace Eye Wellness Month. According to reports, 90% of the thousands of work-related eye injuries sustained each year could be prevented if workers wore proper eye protection. An organization called Prevent Blindness offers resources — including fact sheets and infographics — for employers. 3/7/2023
Ohio’s private employers will pay about $90 million less in workers’ compensation premiums next fiscal year (beginning July 1) following the BWC board’s approval of an overall 8% rate reduction.
The 8% rate cut represents a statewide average. The actual premium paid by an individual employer depends on several factors, including expected future claims costs in their industry, the company’s recent claims, and the company’s participation in BWC programs. Manufacturers will see an average rate reduction of -6.4%, according to page 3 of this BWC document.
The BWC has cut rates for the private employers every year since 2011, except 2017 — and rates are down 62.6% over this period. A history of rate changes since 2011 can be found here. 2/27/23
- The BWC’s Safety Intervention Grant program, which provides employers with 3-to-1 matching funds to purchase safety equipment, has reopened. Learn more and apply.
- Employers in the BWC’s Drug-Free Safety Program must submit their annual report by March 31. (For basic and advanced levels, annual education and training must be completed before submitting the report. OMA Connections Partner Safex offers the required training.)
- The BWC has released its revised rates for assessment calculations that self-insuring employers must pay. This page includes a chart of the July 2022-June 2023 assessment rates, including the minimum assessment for each fund.
Also, in response to a recent Ohio law (SB 166) authorizing financial incentives to employers that provide work-based learning to students enrolled in a career-technical education program, the BWC has published this form so employers can have eligible students’ claims excluded from their future premium calculation. 3/2/2023
The National Hearing Conservation Association has posted this four-minute video to help prevent occupational hearing loss. Here are more hearing protection resources from OSHA. Also, you can watch this related OMA webinar on demand (with handouts). 3/1/2023
If you haven’t already, there’s still time to register for the OMA’s March 2 safety webinar. This month’s webinar will examine deficiencies in fall protection, which are traditionally among OSHA’s top 10 safety violations. Learn more and register. 2/22/2023
In this guidance, OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward examines how injuries related to fights and “horseplay” at the workplace can impact workers’ compensation claims. 2/20/2023
The deadline to submit information from OSHA Form 300A for 2022 is Thursday, March 2. EHS Today has published this brief checklist to explain what your company needs to submit your injury and illness recordkeeping forms electronically. 2/23/2023
- Self-insuring employers must submit the Report of Paid Compensation and Case Reserves (SI-40) online by Feb. 28. The SI-40 backup data, including reserve supporting documentation, must also be submitted by Feb. 28. Read more and see these instructions.
- At 11:30 a.m. Feb. 23, the BWC will present its monthly employer webinar, which will cover considerations for when injuries occur; Better You, Better Ohio! updates; reminders of key dates; and the monthly safety tip.
- Registration is still open (and free) for the BWC’s 2023 Ohio Safety Congress & Expo to be held in Columbus, March 8-10. Several sessions will be streamed live. With more than 100 educational sessions — some offering continuing education credit — choose from among 10 tracks, including manufacturing safety.
As a reminder, the BWC board will consider an 8% rate reduction for BWC-insured private employers at its meeting on Friday, Feb. 24. The cut would save an estimated $90 million in premium costs. 2/16/2023
State lawmakers are questioning the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation and its effort to rename itself the Department of Workforce Insurance and Safety.
The BWC’s latest budget (House Bill 31), which is funded entirely by employer premiums, requests that the BWC be renamed the Department of Workforce Insurance and Safety. Appearing this week before the Ohio House Insurance Committee, BWC Administrator John Logue said the proposed name change would better reflect the agency’s work and potentially improve recruitment.
Logue received pushback from some committee members who questioned the logic and $1 million initial cost of changing the well-recognized name. Read more from Gongwer News Service. 2/16/2023
The OMA recently submitted comments to the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation regarding the BWC’s proposed changes to the Ohio Administrative Code, which is a compilation of rules adopted by state agencies.
The OMA supported the BWC’s proposed changes that benefited manufacturers through increased administrative efficiency or reduced filing requirements for employers. The BWC agreed with the OMA’s concerns regarding experience transfer, rights, and obligations. 2/16/2023