News and Analysis
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has expanded its list of disinfectant products qualified for use against COVID-19. The list has nearly 200 additional products. Meanwhile, the American Chemistry Council has a similar list of products to fight COVID-19. 3/18/2020
This is a reminder that on Tuesday, March 31, program requirements are due for employers participating in the following Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) programs:
- Drug-Free Safety Program participants must submit their annual report.
- One Claim Program participants must complete education requirements.
- EM Cap Program participants must complete education requirements.
This week, OSHA issued guidance to help employers prepare their workplaces for the COVID-19 outbreak, along with a reminder that any incidents of employees contracting the coronavirus at work are recordable illnesses, subject to the same rules and failure-to-record fines as other workplace injuries and illnesses. 3/12/2020
The BWC will be conducting a free, 25-minute webinar on Wednesday, March 25 for employers to learn more about Better You, Better Ohio!® — the free health-and-wellness program for businesses with 150 or fewer employees engaged in higher-risk industries, including manufacturing. The program gives employers a great opportunity to start an employee wellness program with no cost or paperwork hassle. 3/12/2020
According to the National Weather Service, Ohio recorded 59 tornadoes last year, putting the Buckeye State in the top 10 tornado states for 2019. Just in time for severe weather season, OSHA has updated its emergency preparedness and response page — complete with employer responsibilities. 3/12/2020
Read OMA Connections Partner Dismore’s take on House Bill 308, costly legislation that would significantly expand Ohio’s workers’ compensation benefits and expenses. Last month, the Ohio House voted 74-22 to pass HB 308, which would provide first responders with workers’ compensation benefits to treat PTSD, even when there is no physical injury. The OMA opposes the bill, which is currently pending in the Ohio Senate. 3/11/2020
Attorney General Dave Yost this week rejected the summary language for a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. According to the AG, the summary did not constitute a “fair and truthful” representation of the issue.
If supporters successfully resubmit a new summary with 1,000 valid signatures and eventually get the green light from the AG and Ballot Board, they will need to gather roughly 443,000 valid signatures from registered voters by July 1 to get the issue on the November 2020 ballot. In 2015, Ohioans rejected legalizing recreational use of marijuana (State Issue 3) by a 64% to 36% margin. 3/11/2020
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) board of directors has approved a $132 million, 13% average premium rate cut for private employers. Effective July 1, the reduction will mark BWC’s third-largest cut in 60 years. It follows last year’s 20% rate cut. Actual premiums paid will depend on several factors. For information on steps you can take to reduce your premiums, contact the OMA Workers’ Compensation Services team by emailing Brian Jackson or your account manager — Karen James, Melissa Ross or Juliet Walker. 3/4/2020
Employers who participate in the Ohio BWC’s Drug-Free Safety Program are reminded that the required annual report, which enables payment of the program participation rebate, is due March 31. To get started, click this link. If you have questions, contact your BWC representative, or call 1-800-644-6292. 03/04/2020
The BWC’s next employer webinar is Tuesday, March 10, at 1:30 p.m. This free, 25-minute webinar will cover how BWC determines if a claim is allowed, elective coverage types, important dates, and the BWC’s monthly safety tip. Register to attend online — or sign up to attend in person at your nearest BWC service office. 3/5/2020