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OSHA Reports on First Year Results of ‘Severe Injury Reporting Program’

March 18, 2016

Since Jan. 1, 2015, employers have been required by the Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) to report any severe work-related injury – defined as a hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye – within 24 hours. (The requirement to report a fatality within 8 hours was unchanged.)

OSHA reports: “During the first full year of a new reporting requirement, employers reported 10,388 severe injuries, including 7,636 hospitalizations and 2,644 amputations. … In the majority of cases, OSHA asked employers to conduct their own incident investigations and propose remedies to prevent future injuries. OSHA provided employers with guidance materials to assist them in this process. … At other times, the agency determined that the hazards described warranted a worksite inspection.”

For program statistics and an evaluation of the impact of the new requirements, see the full report.

BWC Support for Acquiring Another Business

March 18, 2016

If your company is considering purchasing another business, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) can help you assess how the transaction might affect your workers’ compensation costs.

BWC will provide a limited release of information about the business that may be transferred.  A new form, Request for Business Transfer Information (AC-4), which both parties must sign, allows BWC to release information about the entity that may be purchased, including accounts receivable, payroll and experience modification history, and most-recent quarterly claims costs.

Also, effective Jan. 1, 2016, BWC implemented a new method to determine successorship. This fact sheet provides a detailed description of the new decision-making process and the factors BWC uses to determine if the purchase, acquisition or merger will result in a successorship.

Questions?  Contact OMA’s Brian Jackson or your BWC service office.  

All Safety All the Time at Safety Congress ’16!

March 11, 2016

03-11-16_lb_wc_SafexTeamOMA Connections Partner, Safex, staffs a booth at BWC’s Safety Congress, held this week, Wednesday through today, in Columbus.

Many OMA members are familiar with Dianne Grote Adams, the president of Safex, from her popular presentations in the OMA’s monthly safety webinars.

OMA’s Rob Brundrett, Director, Public Policy Services, stopped by to snap a pic of the Safex team on his way to snagging some free CLE credits at the Congress.

OMA Member Midmark Corp. Wins Safety Innovation Award

March 11, 2016

Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Administrator/CEO Steve Buehrer this week presented five employers with awards in the Safety Innovations Competition.  This annual competition recognizes Ohio employers that have developed innovative solutions to reduce workplace injuries and illnesses.  The awards were presented during the Ohio Safety Congress & Expo 2016, BWC’s annual three-day occupational safety, health and workers’ compensation conference.

The five finalists are showcasing their innovations at Safety Congress this week.  A panel of independent judges evaluated and scored the innovations based on a number of criteria, including risk reduction, innovation, return on investment, potential for the innovation to be utilized by other employers, and presentation quality.

The third place winner is OMA member, Midmark Corporation (Versailles, Darke County), earning a cash award of $3,000.

Visit BWC’s YouTube Channel to view videos highlighting each company’s innovation, and read more on BWC’s website.

Workers’ Comp Option Now Available for Ohio Employers Operating In Other States

March 4, 2016

A new workers’ compensation coverage insurance option is now available to eligible Ohio businesses for their employees who work in other states. The new offering will simplify workers’ comp for these employers, ensuring their employees are protected without the need to manage policies in multiple states with varying laws.

Employers can now apply for this coverage through policies issued by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) through a program with United States Insurance Services (USIS) and Zurich Insurance.

BWC does generally provide coverage for employees working temporarily outside of Ohio; however, complications can arise when an injured worker files a claim in another state. Treatment can be delayed and businesses can be subject to penalties by the other state.

A law enacted last year granted BWC the authority to contract with an insurer to provide this coverage. USIS and Zurich submitted a program proposal and were selected through a request for proposal process.

Employers must have the majority of their business in Ohio to be eligible for the coverage option. Interested employers will apply directly to BWC, which will determine eligibility and the premium cost for the optional coverage.  BWC will issue a Zurich policy to cover out-of-state exposures and Zurich will respond to any claims filed out of state.  Read more from BWC here.

BWC Outlines Upcoming Key Dates

March 4, 2016

As the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) completes its transition to prospective billing of premium, here are some key dates and milestones to mark on your calendar:

May 1 – Policy year 2016 notice of estimated annual premium mailed
May 31 – Destination: Excellence enrollment deadline for July 1, 2016, program year
June 1 – Policy year 2016 premium invoice mailed
July 1 – Policy year 2016 first installment due
July 1 – Policy year 2015 payroll true-up notice sent
Aug. 15 – Policy year 2015 payroll true-up report due

True-up is a new process that requires employers to report their actual payroll for the previous policy year and reconcile any differences in premium paid.  This is an important step that is necessary for BWC to accurately calculate your premium.  It’s also critical to maintaining your policy and 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.

What Ohio Employers Should Know About Light Duty Job Offers

March 4, 2016

OMA Connections Partner, Dinsmore & Shohl, says, “A light duty job offer can be an effective way of returning an employee to work while he or she recovers from work-related injuries and, at the same time, can save employers significantly in terms of management and claims costs.”

However, “Mistakes that often occur include having no proof that the injured worker actually received the written light duty offer, waiting too long to provide the offer, making an offer that does not comply with the injured worker’s restrictions, and failing to update an offer to comply with restrictions that may have been updated or changed.”

OMA Workers’ Compensation Services members should consult with their OMA workers’ compensation account manager when considering using light duty.  Read more from Dinsmore.

It’s Not Too Late to Register for Safety Congress

March 4, 2016

BWC’s Ohio Safety Congress & Expo, Ohio’s largest and longest-running occupational safety, health and workers’ compensation event, is March 9-11.  Here’s everything you need to know.

BWC Plans Maintenance for Saturday, April 9

March 4, 2016

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) wants to give employers advance notice that it will be conducting routine maintenance that will affect phone, email and Internet services on Saturday, April 9.  Due to this scheduled shutdown, BWC’s website will not be accessible, nor will its automated phone service via 1-800-644-6292.  This outage also applies to all other BWC phone and email service.

Callers to all BWC phone lines will receive a busy signal.  Website users will see a static page of information explaining the outage but will not be able to access any of the site’s functionality.  All systems will be up and running by start of business Monday, April 11.  Information about the shutdown will be posted on the BWC website in the next week or two.

BWC Considers 8.6% Overall Rate Reduction

February 26, 2016

Actuaries of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) are recommending to the BWC Board of Directors an 8.6% reduction in total private sector premium.

If approved, this will continue nearly a decade of annual reductions in premiums:  A great success story for Ohio!

The actual premium paid by individual employers depends on a number of factors, including the expected future costs in their industry, their recent claims history, and their participation in various programs.   Look to the OMA Workers’ Compensation Services team for more information as this process unfolds.