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Ohio House Poised to Approve Mental-Only Claims under Workers’ Comp

January 31, 2020

This week, House Bill 308 — legislation to allow first responders to receive Ohio workers’ compensation benefits if diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) — took one step closer to becoming law. If the bill is passed and signed, it would mark the first time Ohio would allow a mental claim without an accompanying physical injury. Currently, the Ohio workers’ compensation system prohibits so-called mental/mental claims.

The OMA, along with other business and local government groups, has long been opposed to any move towards mental/mental claims. In addition, the OMA has worked with numerous stakeholders to find alternative solutions to ensure that Ohio’s first responders receive treatment for PTSD. The House Ways and Means Committee pushed aside those alternative solutions during opponent testimony this week. It is expected that the committee and the full House will approve the bill yet this winter. 1/30/2020

First Senate Hearing Held on BWC Bill

January 31, 2020

On Wednesday, Jan. 29, the Ohio Senate held sponsor testimony on House Bill 81. As originally introduced, the bill would have provided corrections officers with workers’ compensation coverage when exposed to bodily fluids on the job. The House amended the bill to allow for several other new workers’ compensation provisions including: reducing the statute of limitations for violations of a specific safety rule (VSSR) from two years to one year; increasing funeral expenses; settlement changes; continuing jurisdiction changes; and clarifying the voluntary abandonment doctrine. Overall, the bill is a positive for manufacturers. 1/30/2020

OMA Members are Finalists for BWC’s Safety Awards

January 31, 2020

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has announced its five finalists for this year’s Safety Innovation Awards. Among the finalists are OMA members Fort Amanda Specialties (Lima) and TFO Tech Co., LTD (Jeffersonville). The finalists are competing for cash awards — including a $10,000 first place prize. They will be featured at the Ohio Safety Congress and Expo in mid-March.

The BWC established the Safety Innovation Awards to encourage and recognize innovative solutions that reduce the risk of workplace injuries and illness. 1/28/2020

OSHA Recordkeeping Webinar is Thursday, Feb. 6

January 31, 2020

On Thursday, Feb. 6, at 10 a.m. (EST), the OMA will host a “Welcome to OSHA Recordkeeping” webinar. The webinar will cover OSHA recordkeeping requirements, including your obligations to report injuries and incidents, as well as OSHA’s current and new reporting rules. Learn more here. 1/29/2020

Reminder: BWC Grants Available to Ohio Employers

January 24, 2020

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) offers several grant options for Ohio employers, including the Safety Intervention Grant, Workplace Wellness Grant, and the Drug-Free Safety Program Grant. This is a reminder to OMA members to take a look at all available grant options and details about these programs. 1/21/2020

Local Marijuana Laws Don’t Change Employers’ Drug-Free Workplace Rights

January 24, 2020

The Cleveland City Council recently proposed an ordinance to decriminalize marijuana possession. If Cleveland’s proposed ordinance passes, it would join other Ohio cities such as Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo, and Dayton in decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward reminds employers that despite the trend, Ohio law allows employers to discipline, terminate, refuse to hire, or take other adverse action against individuals based on use, possession, or distribution of marijuana. Changes in local law are “not likely to impact Ohio employers who wish to maintain drug-free workplaces.” 1/22/2020

OSHA Announces New Maximum Penalties

January 17, 2020

OSHA has announced the maximum penalty amounts (adjusted for inflation) that it can assess after Jan. 15, 2020. See the penalty amounts here. 1/16/2020

Deadline to File OSHA Injury Form is March 2

January 17, 2020

Most employers with 10 or more employees are required by OSHA to track and report all work-related injuries and illnesses via Forms 300 and 300A.

OMA Connections Partner Bricker & Eckler notes that the deadline to file Form 300A is March 2 — and employers must post the form in the workplace from Feb. 1 to April 30. 1/15/2020

OMA Webinar Will Address OSHA Reporting Obligations

January 17, 2020

If you are new to OSHA records management — or you have employees who need an introductory course or refresher — the OMA is offering a helpful webinar on Feb. 6, from 10-11 a.m. EST.

Presented by experts at Safex, an OMA Connections Partner, this webinar will review OSHA recordkeeping requirements, including your obligations when reporting injuries. 1/14/2020

Free OSHA Certification Courses Available

January 17, 2020

Ohio BWC offers free OSHA certification courses to employers. According to its update, the bureau has several OSHA-10 and OSHA-30 workshops scheduled at various sites across Ohio. Click here to view the specific dates and locations, or to sign up for one of these free courses. 1/15/2020