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BWC Upgrading Systems this Weekend

November 11, 2016

By the time you are reading this, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) will have already begun a systems upgrade that will impact services to its customers through the Veterans Day weekend.  The upgrade will modernize operations and improve customer service with the replacement of BWC’s core claims and policy management systems.

Beginning yesterday afternoon, Nov. 10, many BWC systems, including web and call center services, were unavailable.  It is anticipated normal operations will resume on Tuesday, Nov. 15.  11/9/2016

New OSHA Reg. and Post-Accident Drug Testing

November 11, 2016

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) recently released information to explain how its May 2016 ruling, the New Electronic Accident Reporting Rule (29 CFR 1904.35), impacts post-accident drug testing.

As a result, OMA Connections Partner, Working Partners® has posted guidance on how to consider your post-accident drug testing policy and practices.  Read it here11/10/2016

Workers’ Comp. Group Experience Rating Deadline is Nov. 14

November 4, 2016

OMA’s workers’ compensation Group Experience Rating plan deadline for enrollment is Monday, November 14.  Be sure to lock in your workers’ compensation premium savings!

For members opting for OMA’s Group Retrospective Rating program, your deadline for enrollment is January 24, 2017.

All members are invited to contact OMA’s Jeremy Sesco or Brian Jackson for advice about the best combination of plans and services for your company.  11/2/2016

BWC’s Morrison Appoints New Field Operations Chief

October 28, 2016

Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator & CEO Sarah Morrison announced the appointment of the bureau’s new chief of field operations.  Deborah Dexter, Ph.D., joined Morrison’s senior leadership team on October 17.

As field operations chief, Dexter will lead BWC’s Customer Services Division, overseeing injury management services, employer risk and safety services and the customer contact center, among other duties.

Dexter most recently worked as vice president of operations support for Dublin-based Cardinal Health, where she spent the last eight years focused largely on improving customer service.  She held similar duties at Lucent Technologies from 1995 to 2007.

Dexter holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The Ohio State University, two master’s degrees and a doctorate in organization and management from Capella University. She’s also the author of “You’re Not too Big to Fail: A Proven Guide to Successful Organizational Change Management.”

A photo of Dexter can be found here10/25/2016

Major BWC Upgrades Scheduled November 10-14

October 21, 2016

To modernize operations and improve customer service, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) will replace its core claims and policy management systems next month.  The transition will occur over Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 10-14.

Here is a timeline of key dates.

BWC anticipates resuming normal operations on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

BWC encourages employers to complete any time-sensitive transactions in advance of the transition.  For information throughout the transition, follow BWC on Twitter @OhioBWC10/14/2016

Ohio Achieves 11th Lowest Workers’ Compensation Rates among States

October 21, 2016

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) reports that Ohio’s workers’ compensation rates continue to improve in rankings among states.  Based on a biennial study that compares national workers’ compensation rates, the BWC reported:  “The state’s rates improved from 33rd in 2014 to 40th, making Ohio the 11th lowest among all states.”

The “Oregon Study” ranks states from most expensive to least expensive.  Ohio has continually improved since its rates were ranked third highest in the nation in 2008.

The Oregon Study, produced by the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services, compares each state’s base rates across a selection of 50 widely used classification codes that are assigned by occupation to indicate their degree of risk.

Since the study was conducted, BWC reduced average rates for private employers another 8.6 percent.  Further, the study does not account for the various money-saving BWC programs. When the base rate reductions and rebate programs are factored in, the actual amount collected by BWC averages $1.22 per $100 of payroll compared to the $1.45 rate reflected in the study. The national median rate is $1.84.  10/20/2016

OSHA Publishes New Safety Program Guidelines

October 21, 2016

OSHA has recently updated its Guidelines for Safety and Health Programs, first released 30 years ago, to “reflect changes in the economy, workplaces, and evolving safety and health issues.”

The new recommended practices present a “step-by-step approach to implementing a safety and health program, built around seven core elements that make up a successful program.”  10/19/2016

OSHA Delays Anti-Retaliation Provisions Again

October 21, 2016

OSHA has again delayed enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions in its injury and illness tracking rule until Dec. 1, 2016.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas requested the delay to allow additional time to consider a motion challenging the new provisions.  The anti-retaliation provisions were originally scheduled to begin Aug. 10, 2016, but were previously delayed until Nov. 10 to allow time for outreach to the regulated community.

Per OSHA:  “Under the rule, employers are required to inform workers of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation; implement procedures for reporting injuries and illnesses that are reasonable and do not deter workers from reporting; and incorporate the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against workers for reporting injuries and illnesses.”  10/19/2016

A Serious Top 10

October 21, 2016

Every October, OSHA releases a preliminary list of the 10 most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year, compiled from nearly 32,000 inspections of workplaces by federal OSHA staff.

The list rarely changes; included this year are:

  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolds
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Lockout/tagout
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Ladders
  8. Machine guarding
  9. Electrical wiring
  10. Electrical, general requirements

OSHA and the BWC Division of Safety & Hygiene have plentiful, excellent safety resources.  Also, see the OMA 2017 schedule of safety webinars and visit the OMA video Library (login to My OMA to access) for lots of recorded safety content.  10/19/2016

BWC Safety Grants Going to the Dogs

October 14, 2016

10-14-16_lb_wc_bwcsafety-grants-going-to-dogsOhio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison visited Rosehill Veterinary Hospital, Reynoldburg, to recognize the company for its commitment to safety of its workers and the family pet.  The hospital received a $40,000 BWC Safety Intervention Grant to protect its employees from injuries associated with x-raying animals; it invested in a digital radiography and x-ray table.

Of course you don’t x-ray pets in your manufacturing facility but consider how you could improve safety by investing in equipment that reduces your risks and exposures.

BWC’s Safety Intervention Grant Program assists Ohio employers in purchasing equipment to substantially reduce or eliminate injuries and illnesses associated with a particular task or operation.  Learn more about the program here and view stories of previous grant recipients at BWC’s YouTube channel.   10/13/2016