News and Analysis
This week, the Senate’s General Government and Agency Review Committee heard sponsor testimony on House Bill 308 — legislation that would allow first responders to receive Ohio workers’ compensation benefits if diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), even without an accompanying physical injury.
Were HB 308 enacted, it would mark the first time that Ohio would allow a mental claim without accompanying physical harm. Current law prohibits so-called “mental-mental claims.” There is concern that Ohio lawmakers are aiming to pass the bill before year’s end. 5/14/2020
In late March, the Ohio Legislature passed and the governor signed House Bill 197 as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore has published this insight into how HB 197 changed Ohio workers’ compensation system in two key ways: permitting public meetings and “tolling” deadlines. 5/12/2020
This week, government agencies and OMA Connections Partners published more helpful COVID-19-related guidance for manufacturers, including:
- The state’s guidance on Ohio travel, checklist for businesses and employers, and guidance for re-opening.
- The Ohio Department of Health’s updated checklist for employers regarding potentially exposed workers.
- OSHA’s new video and poster on how to properly wear and remove a mask/respirator.
- CDC’s updated guidance on strategies to optimize the supply of PPE, as well as the use of cloth face coverings.
- Fisher Phillips’ guidance on factors that employers should consider when taking employees’ temperatures, as well as guidance on developing a proactive workplace safety plan.
Meanwhile, the OMA has updated its FAQ document, which addresses concerns raised by members (new questions are in green text). Also, the OMA has published this document called “Safety Guidance & Resources for Manufacturers During the COVID-19 Emergency.” 5/7/2020
The “Stay Safe Ohio” order, issued a week ago, replaced Ohio’s stay-at-home order and contains the safety protocols of the DeWine administration’s re-opening plan. Manufacturers should pay special attention to Sections 8, 10, 16, 20, and 21(a).
OSHA’s poster to prevent workplace coronavirus exposure has been published in 11 additional languages. The poster highlights 10 infection prevention measures every employer should implement to protect workers’ safety and health during the pandemic. 5/6/2020
The National Association of Manufacturers has refreshed its state tracker to provide the latest re-opening information across all 50 states. Also, the U.S. Chamber has launched an interactive map comparing state-by-state re-opening guidelines for employers. 5/6/2020
On Tuesday, May 12, at 10 a.m. (ET), the OMA will host a 60-minute webinar to help employers develop an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan, as recommended by OSHA. Register or learn more here. 5/7/2020
This month, the Ohio BWC’s Employer Update Webinar will include updates on COVID-19, employer dividends, the importance of reviewing your estimated annual premium notice, BWC program options, key dates, and the monthly safety tip. The webinar will last 25 minutes. Registration links are available for the following dates:
The BWC will record this webinar and make it available for future viewing here. 5/4/2020
The DeWine administration this week clarified that use of face coverings by employees will be mandatory under Ohio’s re-opening plan. This clarification came after incorrect information was posted by the governor’s staff earlier in the week.
For manufacturers, this requirement begins May 4. Fortunately, there are exceptions to the mandate. (The OMA engaged the administration to secure additional exceptions to address manufacturers’ concerns.)
The exceptions are:
- An employee in a particular position is prohibited by a law or regulation from wearing a mask while on the job.
- Wearing a mask on the job is against documented industry best practices.
- Wearing a mask is a violation of a company’s safety policy.
- Wearing a mask is not advisable for health purposes.
- An employee is alone in an enclosed workspace.
- There is a practical or safety reason a mask cannot be worn by an employee (e.g., extreme heat, wet conditions, need to communicate).
The administration has said that if any of these exceptions apply to a business — or one of its employees — written justification must be provided upon request. In other words, be prepared to show your written justification to local health care officials or law enforcement. 4/30/2020
The Ohio Department of Health has published an FAQ document — in both a web version and PDF — regarding the use of cloth masks/face coverings in the workplace. The CDC has also published guidance on how to wear face coverings and make cloth face coverings at home.
To help clear confusion surrounding Ohio’s face coverings requirement, the OMA has published this document.
Also, the OMA has updated this collection of safety-related resources to support Ohio manufacturers, whether they are re-opening their facilities or continuing essential operations. 4/30/2020