News and Analysis
Talent retention is more important than ever, especially after an injury or illness. A new federally funded program — called Ohio RETAIN — is exploring strategies to get individuals who have suffered a non-work-related health problem back on the job promptly and safely.
Managed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in coordination with Mercy Health, the program is currently in its pilot phase in Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, with a planned expansion into Northwest and Southwest Ohio this fall. Learn more or email Ohio RETAIN to request a consultation. 3/2/2020
March 2, 2020, was the deadline for electronically reporting your OSHA Form 300A data (for work-related injuries and illnesses) for last year. If you haven’t already done so, you still can and should submit your report. The collection of 2019 data will include your establishment’s Employer Identification Numbers (EIN), which is new.
Studies show that fraud represents between 5% and 20% of all workers’ compensation benefits paid — equal to between $100 million and $400 million of the medical and compensation payments made every year by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). That was just one takeaway from this week’s OMA Safety and Workers’ Compensation Committee meeting, the first of 2020.
OMA members heard informative presentations from BWC officials on the bureau’s special investigations department and its self-insured operations. Other highlights were updates on pending legislation, including a proposal to allow mental-only conditions — such as PTSD — to be covered under Ohio’s workers’ comp.
The committee’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 11. All OMA members are welcome to register to participate either in person or by phone. 2/26/2020
This week, the Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee passed House Bill 81. Supported by the OMA, the bill is a workers’ compensation catch-all that makes a variety of positive changes to the system for manufacturers. HB 81 is expected to be voted on by the full Ohio Senate in the near future. 2/27/2020
Reports circulated this week that there’s another effort afoot to legalize recreational marijuana in Ohio. According to Cleveland.com, supporters may attempt to place a proposed constitutional amendment before voters on the November 2020 ballot. In 2015, Ohioans rejected legalizing the recreational use of marijuana (State Issue 3) by a 64% to 36% margin. 2/26/2020
In less than two weeks, Ohio’s 2020 Safety Congress and Expo will be held at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. This March 11-13 event is the largest work-safety event in the U.S. and is free to attend. It offers more than 200 educational sessions, continuing education opportunities, credit toward BWC discount programs, and dynamic keynote speakers, including former Cincinnati Bengals star and NFL Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz.
If you go, stop by the OMA’s booth (#1024) to discuss our unique, manufacturer-specific approach to workers’ comp management. We will have a small gift courtesy of OMA-member Krema Nut to say thanks for saying hello. 2/26/2020
Ohio’s 2018 Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses report is now available. The report shows the number of cases involving days away from work in the private sector decreased 5% compared to the previous year. Sprains, strains, tears comprised more than 35% of reported injuries, followed by fractures (11.7%), cuts and lacerations (9%), and bruises and contusions (8.8%).
The rate of workplace injuries and illnesses for Ohio continues to be lower than the national average. Manufacturing reported a slight increase in the rate of injuries and illnesses, up from 3.1 to 3.2 cases per 100 full-time workers — but that’s still less than the U.S. rate for manufacturing (3.4).
Overall in Ohio, agriculture — at 8.2 — had the highest total recordable case rate per 100 full-time workers. 2/18/2020
The first OMA Safety and Workers’ Compensation Committee meeting of 2020 will be Wednesday, Feb. 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Columbus. The BWC Fraud Unit will be on hand to engage with members on what to do if you suspect workers’ comp fraud in your facility. The committee will also review critical updates on pending legislation, including a proposal to allow mental-only conditions — such as PTSD — for workers’ comp coverage. Register here for in-person or call-in participation. 2/18/2020
Did you know OSHA provides all of its popular publications on its website, ready for free download? Many of the agency’s publications are available in languages other than English. Click here to see the most downloaded OSHA publications. 2/18/2020
The BWC’s next employer webinar will be Thursday, Feb. 27, at 11:30 a.m. This free, 25-minute webinar will cover the role of the Ohio Industrial Commission, the $15,000 Medical-Only Program, One-Time Forgiveness, eNews, 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. 2/17/2020