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Is it Hot in Here?

June 3, 2016

Forecasters are calling for above-average temperatures across much of the country this summer. Are you prepared to beat the heat?

Every year, thousands of workers become ill from working in the heat, and some even die.

Heat-related illnesses and deaths can be prevented.  Employers and supervisors can save the lives of workers in hot environments by following these eight simple steps.

BWC Offers Machine Safety for Maintenance and Production, Chillicothe

May 27, 2016

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is offering a no-charge full day class on machine safety, Thursday, June 16, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. in Chillicothe at the Adena PACCAR Center.  Those who attend will receive Industry Specific Safety Program (ISSP) credit and this will count as External Safety Council Meeting attendance.

Up to four participants from any one employer can attend and there are 70 spots available.

Go to the BWC Learning Center (see flyer) to register (use “Special Topic 2” as the keyword search) or call Phyllis Jenkins at (740) 353-3419.

Who should attend?  Individuals responsible for performing maintenance and or production operation(s).  Also, supervisors responsible for employees conducting these activities and other safety and management staff who need the skill and knowledge necessary to understand, recognize, and mitigate the risks.  Topics include: machine guarding; lock out tag out; and electrical safety for machine service and maintenance.

House Hears Firefighter Cancer Bill

May 27, 2016

The House held its first hearing this week on Senate Bill 27 which would create a presumption that a firefighter who is disabled as a result of specified types of cancer incurred the cancer while performing his or her job duties, thus creating eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.

Senator Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) provided proponent testimony.  The OMA previously submitted this letter containing cautions about the precedent setting nature of this bill to the Senate committee, which affirmed the bill.

BWC Announces $15M Rebate to Ohio Counties

May 27, 2016

This week, citing strong investment returns, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Sarah Morrison announced a one-time $15 million rebate to Ohio’s 88 county governments. The rebate was approved by BWC’s board of directors.

All Ohio counties will receive rebates ranging from around $100 to more than $1 million, with exact amounts to be determined after May 31.

New BWC Administrator Visits OMA Safety & Workers’ Comp Meeting

May 20, 2016
05-20-16_lb_wc_Holmes and Morrison

Pictured – Committee chairman, Larry Holmes, VP – Finance, Ft. Recovery Industries, Inc. and Sarah Morrison, BWC Administrator & CEO

Governor Kasich this week named Sarah Morrison as administrator and CEO of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC).  She’ll lead the agency that has more than 1,800 employees and serves more than 250,000 Ohio employers.  She has served in the position in an interim capacity since the BWC’s former administrator and CEO, Steve Buehrer, stepped down last month.

Sarah and Dave Sievert, Interim Director – Self Insured Department,
Ohio BWC, updated members on agency developments at this week’s OMA Safety & Workers’ Compensation meeting.

To receive meeting notices and related information, go to My OMA and subscribe to the Safety & Workers’ Comp. community.

BWC Gets Employers Ready to “True Up”

May 20, 2016

BWC’s first-ever payroll true-up period is coming July 1 for Ohio private employers.  This new process is part of BWC’s change to prospective billing and requires employers to report their actual payroll for the previous policy year and reconcile any differences in premiums paid.

This important step is necessary for BWC to accurately calculate your premium.  It’s also important to maintaining your policy and protecting your participation in your current rating plan or discount programs.  You must complete the true-up report even if your payroll for the year matches the estimate you receive from BWC.

View this video tutorial to learn more about the true-up process.

The most convenient way to true-up will be online with a BWC e-account. To create an e-account, go to BWC’s website and click on the “create e-account” link on the home page (under the login area). This video tutorial explains the process for creating an e-account.

Visit the BWC website if you already have an e-account but don’t remember your password.  If you are otherwise unable to access your account, contact the BWC at (800) 644-6292.

OMA Supported Subrogation Bill Clears General Assembly

May 13, 2016

This week House Bill 207 cleared both the Senate floor and House concurrence.  The bill enables claims costs to be charged to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) surplus fund rather than a state fund employer’s experience when a motor vehicle accident-related workers’ compensation claim is likely to be subrogated by a third party.

OMA Safety and Workers’ Compensation Chairman Larry Holmes, Sr. V.P., Finance, Fort Recovery Industries, Inc., provided proponent testimony on behalf of the OMA last fall during committee hearings.  The bill now goes to the desk of Governor Kasich for his signature.

We’ll discuss this and many BWC updates at the May 19 OMA Workers’ Compensation committee meetingRegister here.

BWC Drug-Free Safety Program Enrollment Deadline is May 31

May 13, 2016

Once a year, employers are able to enroll in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Drug-Free Safety Program (DFSP).  Qualifying enrollees can receive a premium rebate of 4% or 7% and subsidize the majority of start-up and operational costs (e.g., policy development, employee education and supervisor training) with BWC SafetyGRANT$ funding.

This year’s enrollment deadline is May 31, 2016.

When program development is facilitated by knowledgeable consultants, an efficient and well thought-out program benefits your employees, your business and your community.  Employees who think it is okay to use substances can be deterred; employees with problems are encouraged or required to get help; non-abusing employees are protected; and customers can feel confident in the services they receive from your company.

Visit OMA Connections Partner, Working Partners® DFSP Help Zone, for information about the BWC Drug-Free Safety Program and how to enroll.  Or call Working Partners at (866) 354-3397.

OSHA Releases New Reporting Rule

May 13, 2016

This week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released its anticipated “Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” final rule, which will require businesses with 250 or more employees, per facility, to electronically report to the agency annually all of the company’s injury and illness logs for that year starting in 2017.

Companies with 20-249 employees, per facility, in “designated industries,” including manufacturing, will also have to report annually.

While the agency states it will not report any specific employee information, “OSHA intends to post the establishment-specific injury and illness data it collects under this final rule on its public Web site,” which means company’s records will be available for public consumption.

The National Association of Manufacturers issued this statement on the rule: “ … this administration put a target on nearly every company and manufacturer in the United States. Manufacturers are supportive of regulations aimed at increasing transparency, and we pride ourselves on creating safe workplaces for the men and women who make things in America. However, this regulation will lead to the unfair and unnecessary public shaming of these businesses. This is a misguided attempt at transparency that sacrifices employee and employer privacy, allows for distribution of proprietary information and creates burdens for all manufacturers. We will look at all options to protect manufacturers from this certain threat to the modern shop floor.”

Workers’ Compensation MCO Open Enrollment Underway

May 6, 2016

The open enrollment period for Ohio state-fund employers to select a different workers’ compensation Managed Care Organization (MCO) started this week and runs through Friday, May 27.  The BWC offers an open enrollment period every two years to allow employers to evaluate the services of their current MCO and determine if they would like to make a change.

The role of the MCO is to manage medical treatment for workers injured on the job.

MCOs are contracted suppliers to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) who are paid by the BWC with a portion of employer premiums.  Ohio’s 15 MCOs are the primary link between injured workers, medical providers, employers and BWC.  MCOs manage claim filing and medical treatment and assist employers with the implementation of recovery and return-to-work programs.

Employers who are satisfied with their MCO do not need to do anything.  However, those considering a change must complete the MCO Selection Form.  For employers who select a new MCO, the change will be effective July 4.

OMA ‘s sole endorsed MCO is Health Management Solutions, Inc. (HMS).  Read why.  To switch, go to HMS or use this form.

BWC produces the MCO Selection Guide that provides instructions, and an MCO Report Card that provides limited MCO performance information.  The guide and report card are available here.