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Guidance on Supervisor Interviews With OSHA

February 17, 2023

OMA Connections Partner Fisher Philips has published this guidance cautioning against supervisor interviews on the day that an OSHA inspection occurs. The firm says by preventing same-day interviews, “the inspection can proceed based solely on your narrowly tailored consent, and OSHA has to conduct its inspection within the parameters of that consent.” 2/15/2023

Report: OSHA Plans to Allow Union Walkthroughs of Non-Union Facilities

February 10, 2023

According to reports, federal safety officials are preparing for a new proposal that would give workers and certified bargaining units the right to designate a worker or union representative to accompany OSHA inspectors during a facility walkaround — regardless of whether the representative is an employee or the facility is a union shop.

OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips reports OSHA intends to issue its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in May. To help employers prepare, the firm recommends these five steps. 2/9/2023

Upcoming BWC Safety Training

February 10, 2023

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has scheduled a variety of online and in-person safety training events that may be of interest to OMA members.

Among the upcoming virtual offerings are sessions on OSHA recordkeeping, hazardous waste operations, electrical safety, and violence in the workplace. See the BWC’s full schedule of events. 2/8/2023

BWC Board Considers $90 Million in Premium Rate Cuts

February 3, 2023

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation board is considering an 8% rate reduction that could save private-sector employers $90 million in premiums next fiscal year. If approved, the reduction would take effect July 1. Read the BWC’s press release.

Ohio already has the fifth-lowest workers’ compensation rates in the U.S., according to a well-regarded study. Moreover, the average rate levels for employers in the BWC system are at their lowest in more than 60 years, the agency says. 1/30/2023

Name Change Proposed for BWC

February 3, 2023

Gov. Mike DeWine’s proposed budget for FY2024-25 would rename the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation as the Ohio Department of Workforce Insurance and Safety.

The goals of the new department would remain the same, as noted in the budget: to maintain an effective and efficient workers’ compensation system that lets businesses focus on growing; preventing workplace injuries; and getting injured workers healthy and back to work.

The OMA will report further details as they become available. 2/2/2023

OSHA Sharpens Enforcement Tools

February 3, 2023

Beginning March 20, OSHA personnel may cite employers for each instance they violate certain standards, according to an announcement by the agency.

The switch to “instance-by-instance citations” is intended to ensure that OSHA personnel are applying the full authority of the federal law in cases involving “high gravity” serious violations of standards, the agency says.

OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has produced this summary, which includes six tips to improve and maintain workplace safety. OMA Connections Partner Calfee has published this summary. 1/30/2023

OSHA Revises Combustible Dust Program

February 3, 2023

OSHA has issued a revised Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program, adding a handful of new industries to the program, including commercial bakeries; printing ink manufacturing; cut stock, resawing lumber, and planning; leather and hide tanning and finishing; and truss manufacturing. Read OSHA’s news release. 1/30/2023

Summary: OSHA’s LEP for Ohio Food Manufacturers

February 3, 2023

OMA Connections Partner Safex has published this summary of OSHA’s local emphasis program (LEP) for food manufacturers in Ohio.

Established last fall, the LEP seeks to encourage employers to identify and reduce or eliminate machine hazards during production and sanitation, as well as during service and maintenance. 2/1/2023

Webinar: What to Expect From OSHA in 2023

February 3, 2023

As OSHA ramps up its enforcement efforts, OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips is planning a Feb. 28 webinar on what to expect from the agency in 2023. Register here.

Titled “An Employer’s Guide to Developments in Workplace Safety,” the virtual event will cover topics such as OSHA’s national emphasis programs, inspection tactics, proposed rules, and recordkeeping and reporting. 2/2/2023

Are You Prepared for an OSHA Inspection?

January 27, 2023

According to OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips’ OSHA Inspections Tracker, there were more than 700 inspections of Ohio manufacturers last year. On Feb. 2, the OMA will host a webinar to help manufacturers effectively manage an OSHA inspection. Learn more and register. 1/26/2023