News and Analysis
Over the years, the OMA has worked hard to advocate for more competitive workers’ compensation costs. So it is encouraging to see this new infographic by HowMuch.net showing that when compared to other states, Ohio has the nation’s second-lowest workers’ compensation costs.
Based on the most recent data from the National Academy of Social Insurance, the infographic shows that Ohio’s average workers’ compensation costs (as of 2017) were 67 cents per $100 of payroll, compared to the national average of $1.21. Texas was the only state with a lower cost than Ohio’s, according to the comparison. 6/9/2020
On June 11, the OMA Safety and Workers’ Compensation Committee met virtually for its second meeting of 2020. Members were briefed on recent legislative activity and actions by the DeWine administration that could impact Ohio’s workers’ compensation system. In addition, members received updates from experts from Ohio BWC and OMA Connections Partner Safex. The keynote speaker was Howie Eberts, area director for OSHA, who provided Ohio-specific updates from the agency.
This week’s meeting marked the last for longtime committee Chairman Larry Holmes, vice-president of finance and treasurer for Fort Recovery Industries, Inc. Holmes is currently a candidate for the Darke County Board of Commissioners. We thank Larry for his many years of committed leadership and service to the OMA. Matt Shurte, general counsel and secretary at Lancaster Colony Corporation, will follow Holmes as committee chair.
The committee — which is open to all OMA members — is scheduled to meet again Nov. 4. 6/11/2020
Earlier this week, OSHA released new guidance, in the form of frequently asked questions and answers, regarding the use of masks and cloth face coverings in the workplace. The new guidance serves to help employers inform employees on how to properly wear masks and face coverings — and know what is appropriate under different circumstances.
Also, the CDC this week updated its guidance on how to wear cloth face coverings. 6/11/2020
In case you missed it, the OMA has updated its collection of resources to address general workplace safety concerns during COVID-19. This document includes updated guidance on the use of face coverings/masks, cleaning and disinfecting, employee health checks, and reporting confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases. 6/9/2020
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has updated its COVID-19 FAQ document. This list of questions and answers includes information on the BWC’s recently announced premium deferral for June, July and August. 6/9/2020
Employers are looking for better ways to monitor whether individuals entering their workplaces have been exposed to or are infected with COVID-19. The use of more sophisticated thermal scanning cameras or similar systems that can process many people quickly has emerged as a possible solution. OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has published this insight to examine the advantages and disadvantages of using this technology. 6/8/2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has made us acutely aware that electronic devices are among the most frequently touched surfaces by employees — and an easy way to spread the coronavirus. USA Today recently published this handy list of cleaning tips for phones, tablets and other electronic devices with surfaces on which the coronavirus can survive for up to 72 hours. 6/3/2020
Following the release of Ohio’s latest public health order late last Friday, May 29, the OMA has updated its guidance document on masks and face coverings. The OMA worked to include exceptions on the use of masks in the manufacturing workplace due to high temperatures, or employees separated by more than six feet or by a barrier. Mask exceptions should still be documented to explain why an employee is not wearing a face covering. 6/4/2020
This week, the OMA provided opponent testimony on House Bill 308, legislation to allow first responders to receive PTSD benefits through workers’ compensation in the absence of a physical injury. In its testimony, the OMA stated that it has historically opposed proposals to permit PTSD compensation in cases in which there is no associated physical injury or illness — and that “the adoption of a mental-only diagnosis would mark a significant change to the Ohio workers’ compensation system.” The OMA outlined other potential avenues to provide benefits to first responders for lawmakers’ consideration. 6/4/2020
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will hold its monthly 25-minute employer update webinar at 1:30 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, June 9, as well as at 11:30 a.m. (ET) on Thursday, June 25. This month’s webinar will cover updates on COVID-19, policy year 2020 renewal, the annual true-up report, and reminders of important BWC dates. The webinar will last about 25 minutes. To attend this month’s webinar, or to see recordings of previous webinars, click here. 6/3/2020