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Check’s in the Mail: BWC Rebates Start Going Out

September 27, 2019

In late June, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) board of directors approved a $1.5 billion rebate to Ohio employers covered by the BWC system. BWC started sending checks via the U.S. Postal Service yesterday, Sept. 26 — and the rebates will continue to go out through Thursday, Oct. 24. Be on the lookout for your check! In the meantime, here’s an FAQ list regarding this year’s rebate. 9/25/2019

OSHA Approves New Respirator Fit Testing Protocols

September 27, 2019

OSHA has issued a final rule that provides employers with two new fit testing protocols for ensuring that employees’ respirators fit properly. See the agency’s news release for more details. 9/25/2019

Sorting Out the Confusion Surrounding CBD

September 20, 2019

Confused about Ohio’s legalization of products containing hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) and what it means for your workplace? Join OMA Connections Partner Working Partners® on Tuesday, Sept. 24, from 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. (EDT), for a 30-minute webinar, Sorting Out the Confusion Around CBD. Participants will learn about what CBD is and get answers to questions such as: Is CBD legal? Is it safe? Will CBD show up on a drug test? 9/18/2019

Recorded BWC Webinars Now Available

September 13, 2019

Every month, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) offers employers brief, informative webinars on topics of interest — with subjects ranging from drug testing, to workplace safety tips, to Workers’ Compensation deadlines and notices. If you’ve missed a recent webinar, they have been recorded and are available for playback online. Each lasts approximately 20 minutes. See them here. 9/9/2019

Northeast Ohio Safety Expo is Oct. 11

September 13, 2019

The 12th annual Northeast Ohio Safety Expo will be held Oct. 11 at the Mahoning County Career and Technical Center. There will be 40 sessions covering a wide variety of workplace safety topics. Also, the event will offer free and confidential biometric health screenings to eligible attendees as part of the BWC’s Better You, Better Ohio!® program. More details here. 9/11/2019

BWC’s Cleveland Office Has Moved

September 6, 2019

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is reporting that its Cleveland Service Office, located at 615 W. Superior Avenue (Lausche State Office Building), has temporarily moved from the 6th floor to the 7th floor of the Lausche Building. This move is the initial phase of an office consolidation with the Garfield Heights Service office, which will take place in this fall and/or winter. 8/30/2019

BWC Extends Policy Activity Rebate Program

September 6, 2019

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has extended its Policy Activity Rebate (PAR) pilot program for a second year. PAR is an activity-based incentive program that allows employers to choose from among 33 activities to earn a premium rebate. Employers can earn a 50% premium rebate, up to $2,000, by completing 11 credits during the enrolled policy year.

Private employers can enroll now through Jan. 31, 2020. Visit the BWC’s Policy Activity Rebate web page for additional information. 8/30/2019

Ohio Courts Address Light-Duty Assignments for Injured Workers

August 30, 2019

The “good faith” requirement of a light-duty offer was just examined by the 10th District Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Ohio — with a somewhat surprising result. In its new analysis, OMA Connections Partner Dinsmore writes that employers must remember that “providing employees with menial tasks or requiring them to watch training videos for the majority of their shifts could fail the ‘good faith’ requirement of a light-duty job offer.” 8/28/2019

BWC Increases Cash Awards for Safety Innovation Contest

August 30, 2019

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has increased the prize amounts for its 2020 Safety Innovation Awards to encourage participation and creative solutions to enhance workplace safety. BWC has bumped the top award to $10,000, while second place will receive $6,000 and third place $4,000. There’s also a new $1,500 honorable mention prize.

If your business has developed advanced technologies, creative use of existing equipment, or unique processes and practices to reduce workplace risks, apply by Sept. 30 for your chance at a cash award. 8/26/2019

At a Glance: 25 Years of Worker Injury & Fatality Data

August 30, 2019

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has published a slideshow analyzing a quarter century of data on work-related injuries and illnesses in America. The findings include:

  • From 1992 to 2016, U.S. fatal occupational injuries declined by about 17%.
  • Heavy tractor-trailer truck drivers had the most fatal occupational injuries within the manufacturing sector.
  • Fatal injuries declined for workers in the 25-34 and 35-44 age groups from 1992 to 2016, but there was an increase for workers in the 55-64 and 65-and-older age groups. (Workers 55-plus made up around 20% of injuries in 1992 and 36% in 2016.)

A BLS report released earlier this year said Ohio’s manufacturing sector has seen “a significant decline” in workplace injuries and illnesses. 8/29/2019