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Preparing for Whistleblower Complaints to OSHA

August 11, 2023

In recent years, the number of OSHA whistleblower complaints has steadily increased. In this podcast, experts from OMA Connections Partner Frantz Ward examine current trends, while discussing how an OSHA whistleblower complaint is investigated and how employers can prepare. 8/10/2023

Analysis: OSHA’s Expanded Electronic Recordkeeping Rule

August 11, 2023

OMA Connections Partner Vorys reports that a recently issued final OSHA rule will require employers with 100 or more employees in designated industries — including manufacturing — to electronically submit details of every employee occupational injury or illness. The rule takes effect Jan. 1, 2024.

In this guidance, Vorys advises employers to plan ahead by ensuring all recordable injuries and illnesses in 2023 are accurately recorded on OSHA Forms 300 and 301. Employers should also start to devise a process for uploading required information. 8/10/2023

Final Reminder: August 15 True-Up Deadline

August 11, 2023

A final reminder for private employers in Ohio: Tuesday, Aug. 15 is the deadline to complete your BWC true-up report for the workers’ compensation policy year that ended June 30, 2023. The bureau requires this report to ensure that the estimated premium for the 2022/23 policy year was correct. Learn more here or watch this video. 8/10/2023

OMA Examines Effort to Legalize Recreational Pot

August 4, 2023

The OMA this week hosted a virtual members’ meeting to examine the proposed ballot issue to legalize recreational use of marijuana in Ohio. More than 130 members participated.

The meeting coincided with news that the pro-legalization campaign has collected the necessary number of signatures to put the question on the Nov. 7 ballot. If approved by voters, the recreational marijuana law would become effective immediately upon certification.

Key takeaways from the meeting include:

  • OMA members who participated overwhelmingly said the legalization effort is a business issue — and that the OMA should oppose the initiative to legalize use of the drug.
  • Studies have found the number of marijuana-positive drug tests performed following workplace accidents grew more than 200% from 2012 to 2022, coinciding with a trend of more states legalizing recreational use. OMA Connections Partner Safex noted that more than half of employers that eliminated THC testing reported an increase in incidents or workplace performance concerns.
  • Oklahoma and Arkansas voters recently rejected initiatives to legalize recreational use of marijuana, despite large amounts of campaign spending by legalization activists.
  • More employers are using new testing technology to identify possible impairment due to marijuana use, while others are implementing new policies to clarify that marijuana use at the workplace is strictly prohibited.

This four-page memo prepared by Bricker Graydon, the OMA’s general counsel, provides analysis of the issue. For questions or concerns, email James Lee, OMA director of Public Policy Services. 8/3/2023

COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations Rise

August 4, 2023

For the first time in 2023, COVID-19 cases are rising again, even though hospitalizations remain near an all-time low.

Here are the latest COVID-19 trends for the U.S. and Ohio. Here are the most recent case numbers in each Ohio county.

The last time OSHA updated its guidance on mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace was June 2021. The CDC’s prevention page offers more recently updated information.

Meanwhile, the FDA could authorize Pfizer’s updated COVID-19 boosters by the end of August, according to reports. 8/2/2023

Tips for Emergency Drills and Exercises

August 4, 2023

According to OMA Connections Partner BSI, every business should prioritize drills and exercises as part of its emergency preparedness and business continuity programming. The firm has published this guidance for emergency exercise leaders and participants. 8/2/2023

New OSHA Guidance on Heat Hazards

August 4, 2023

Under federal law, employers have a duty to protect workers against heat hazards. A new OSHA Hazard Alert lays out employer responsibilities, worker rights, and OSHA’s current heat enforcement efforts. 8/3/2023

Reminder: August 15 BWC True-Up Deadline

July 28, 2023

Private employers in Ohio have until Aug. 15 to complete their true-up report for the workers’ compensation policy year that ended June 30, 2023. The BWC requires this report to ensure that the estimated premium for the 2022/23 policy year was correct.

If your true-up payroll exceeds the estimated payroll, you will owe additional premium (payment also due by Aug. 15). If your true-up payroll is less than your estimated payroll, a premium credit will be awarded. Learn more. Or watch this video. 7/27/2023

Recreational Pot Campaign Falls Short — for Now

July 28, 2023

Earlier this month, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 222,233 signatures to get the legalization of “adult use” of marijuana on Ohio’s November 2023 ballot. Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced this week that many of those signatures weren’t valid and the coalition is 679 signatures short of the required 124,046 signatures.

The group has until Aug. 4 to collect and resubmit the additional signatures, which organizers say they will get. Most of the coalition’s valid signatures have come from Columbus, Cleveland, and Cincinnati, although the group has collected signatures from all 88 counties.

Members should note that OMA Connections Partner Working Partners® specializes in helping employers run drug-free workplaces. Learn more. 7/27/2023

New, Older Workers Stand Out in Workplace Injury Data

July 28, 2023

A recent review by the Travelers insurance company of more than 1.2 million workers’ compensation claims from 2016 to 2020 found that 34% of workplace injuries happened during an employee’s first year on the job, resulting in nearly 7 million missed workdays.

The most expensive workers’ compensation claims came from employees ages 60 and older. These claims were about 140% more costly than claims for workers ages 18 to 24. 7/25/2023