News and Analysis
The Senate General Government and Agency Review Committee this week heard arguments against House Bill 308, legislation that would allow workers’ compensation claims for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experienced by first responders when there is no accompanying physical injury. The Ohio House passed HB 308 earlier this year.
Rob Brundrett, the OMA’s director of public policy services, told lawmakers that the bill would compromise the workers’ compensation system and negatively impact Ohio’s business climate. Some have estimated the bill would cost Ohio employers as much as $70 million a year.
The OMA has historically opposed proposals — including HB 308 — that would permit PTSD-related compensation in cases in which there is no associated physical injury or illness. OMA members are encouraged to contact their state senator with this easy-to-use tool to express their opposition to HB 308. Sample messaging is provided. 11/17/2020
Through Nov. 5, OSHA had issued 204 citations arising from inspections for violations relating to COVID-19, resulting in proposed penalties totaling more than $2.8 million. Violations have included failures to:
- Implement a written respiratory protection program;
- Provide a medical evaluation, respirator fit test, training on the proper use of a respirator and PPE;
- Report an injury, illness, or fatality;
- Record an injury or illness on OSHA recordkeeping forms; and
- Comply with the General Duty Clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
Read more here. 11/16/2020
More attention is being paid to adequate ventilation to help fight COVID-19. Employers should work with an HVAC professional to consider steps to optimize building ventilation. In the meantime, OSHA has published these tips to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus. 11/19/2020
OMA Connections Partner Safex has published this new COVID-19 toolkit for employers, which offers tips for communicating with employees and preparing for an OSHA inspection. Safex has also published this timely guidance on what to do when an employee tests positive for COVID-19. 11/16/2020
Through the Ohio BWC’s Substance Use Recovery and Workplace Safety Program, employers in 33 participating counties can get reimbursed for updating their drug and alcohol policy.
Call OMA Connections Partner Working Partners® at (614) 337-8200 to see if you can take advantage of this program. Also, use this list of questions to help review your policy. 11/16/2020
There were reports from Washington this week on what could be one of the Biden administration’s “first big fights with business.” According to Politico, President-elect Joe Biden has said he will direct his administration to issue a national standard to provide specific precautions that employers must take to protect their workers from exposure to the coronavirus.
National business groups, including the National Association of Manufacturers, have called for flexibility in such workplace regulations. 11/18/2020
A Senate committee is currently considering House Bill 308, legislation that would allow workers’ compensation claims for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experienced by first responders when there is no accompanying physical injury. The Ohio House passed HB 308 earlier this year.
The Ohio workers’ compensation system was designed to compensate injured workers’ physical injuries/illnesses and any mental conditions that arise as a result of such physical injuries/illnesses. The OMA has historically opposed proposals — including HB 308 — that would permit PTSD-related compensation in cases in which there is no associated physical injury or illness. The adoption of a mental-only diagnosis would mark a significant (and costly) change to the Ohio workers’ compensation system, which is fully funded by employers.
Read more and then email your state senator to express your opposition to HB 308 by encouraging an alternative financing option for PTSD treatment for first responders. 11/12/2020
In an ongoing effort to control the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Mike DeWine announced this week that the Ohio Department of Health will soon issue a revised mask order. As was the case with the mask order issued last July, the new order will apply to all employers — but it will focus particularly on the retail sector.
OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips has published this guidance regarding what Ohio employers need to know about the new requirements. 11/12/2020
Workplace safety enforcement will be more aggressive and robust under an OSHA governed by a Biden administration, according to OMA Connections Partner Fisher Phillips. In this new analysis, the firm advises employers to take actions now to ensure their safety and health programs are compliant in “anticipation of greater enforcement efforts from OSHA during the next four years.”
OMA will continue its popular monthly safety webinars to support members’ safety programs. 11/12/2020
OSHA has issued guidance and an accompanying one-pager to help employers understand what standards are most frequently cited during coronavirus-related inspections. While most citations have been issued to employers in the health care and meat processing industries, all employers should make efforts to avoid similar pitfalls.
OSHA reminds employers about its On-Site Consultation Program, which offers no-cost and confidential occupational safety and health services to small- and medium-sized businesses.
Meanwhile, members should note that the CDC recently updated its guidance web page for manufacturers. 11/11/2020