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Experts: Recreational Marijuana Law Has No Impact on BWC’s Drug-Free Safety Program

December 1, 2023

The legalization of cannabis for certain medical conditions has had no effect on the Ohio BWC’s position that a drug-free workplace means a marijuana-free workplace.

What will change now that Ohio’s legalized recreational marijuana law takes effect Thursday, Dec. 7? In short, and until further notice, nothing, according to this insight from Frantz Ward, an OMA Connections Partner.

The firm provides an overview of the BWC’s Drug-Free Safety Program, which gives Ohio employers premium discounts for fulfilling and incorporating certain requirements into their drug and alcohol policies. 11/30/2023

Ohio Safety Congress Set for March 27-29

December 1, 2023

The 2024 Ohio Safety Congress and Expo — the largest work-safety conference in the U.S. — will be held at Greater Columbus Convention Center, March 27-29. This popular event will feature expert content within 13 educational tracks. View the entire schedule. 11/29/2023

OSHA, NLRB Collaboration Causes Compliance Challenges

December 1, 2023

OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has warned employers about the collaboration between the NLRB and OSHA. In this guidance, the firm spotlights top compliance challenges stemming from the agencies’ partnership. The firm advises employers to document and implement safety and health programs. 11/29/2023

OMA Safety Webinar: Effective Incident Reporting

November 21, 2023

At 10 a.m. Dec. 7, the OMA will host its final safety webinar of 2024 with a look at effective incident reporting. Presented by experts at Safex, this webinar will help manufacturers maximize their return on time spent completing incident investigations, while helping companies identify preventative measures. Learn more and register. 11/21/2023

Speaker Suggests Slower Approach on Issue 2 Changes; OMA to Host Nov. 30 Members’ Briefing

November 17, 2023

Statehouse leaders are approaching potential changes to Ohio’s new recreational marijuana law with different levels of urgency.

Although the voter-approved law takes effect Dec. 7, House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) says that finalizing necessary changes by next month would “prove a tall order,” according to Gongwer News Service.

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima), who will address the OMA’s Government Affairs Committee meeting on Nov. 29, says senators will push for changes before Dec. 7. Gov. DeWine has called for quick legislative action due to concerns over THC content, tax and revenue provisions, safety issues, and marijuana use in public.

The OMA will host a Nov. 30 members-only briefing to address safety and HR concerns related to recreational marijuana use. Register here. 11/15/2023

U.S. Workplace Injuries, Illnesses Increase

November 17, 2023

The number of reported workplace injuries and illnesses in the U.S. private sector increased in 2022, according to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to reports, manufacturing was among the three sectors with the highest number of recordable cases. 11/13/2023

Study: First-Year Employees Involved in 34% of Workers’ Comp Claims

November 17, 2023

A new study of more than 1.2 million lost-time workers’ compensation claims submitted from 2016 through 2020 has found that 34% of those claims involved employees who were in their first year on the job. Read more details from the Travelers Injury Impact Report. 11/15/2023

Ohio Lawmakers Already Considering Changes to Marijuana Legalization Law

November 10, 2023

Ohio voters on Nov. 7 approved Issue 2 to legalize recreational marijuana use by a margin of 57-43%, according to unofficial results and despite opposition from the manufacturing community and others. Ohioans can begin to possess and consume recreational marijuana starting Dec. 7. Legal sales will be delayed due to rulemaking by the Ohio Department of Commerce.

Because Issue 2 is an initiated statute, as opposed to a constitutional amendment, state lawmakers can amend or even repeal the language — and tweaks are already being discussed. According to this story by Gongwer News Service, revisions to the measure could be unveiled by year’s end.

Gov. Mike DeWine has called for Issue 2 language changes due to to concerns for children and highway safety. Both Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) and House Speaker Jason Stephens (R-Kitts Hill) have indicated changes are likely — including tweaks to the law’ tax structure, revenue distribution, and THC concentration limits. 11/8/2023

Who Funded Ohio’s Campaign to Legalize Pot?

November 10, 2023

Supporters of Ohio’s Issue 2 to legalize recreational marijuana raised $6 million, roughly 13 times more than that raised by the opposition campaign.

This report published by the Cincinnati Business Courier highlights key donors supporting and opposing the ballot measure. The story notes that the OMA, along with OMA board member Angela Phillips, CEO of Phillips Tube Group, provided roughly two-thirds of the opposition campaign’s funding. 11/7/2023

Plan for Ohio Employers After Passage of Issue 2

November 10, 2023

With voter approval of Issue 2, Ohio manufacturers should prepare for an influx of workplace accidents and injuries that will come with more employees using cannabis, experts say. Studies show a 55% increase in workplace accidents in states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has published this six-step plan of action for Ohio employers following this week’s development. The first step is to review and update drug testing protocols, as well as update policies. 11/10/2023