News and Analysis
Gov. Mike DeWine this week appointed James M. Hughes of Upper Arlington (Franklin Co.) to the Industrial Commission of Ohio, which adjudicates workers’ compensation disputes. Hughes’ term begins July 1, 2019, and will end June 30, 2025. He will serve as chair of the commission when his term commences.
A Republican, Hughes was a member of the Ohio State Senate from 2008 to 2016, as well as a member of the Ohio House from 2000 to 2008. He has worked an assistant prosecutor for Franklin County. 04/18/2019
Attention private employers that participate in the Drug-Free Safety Program (DFSP), One Claim Program (OCP) and EM Cap Program: March 29 is the deadline for:
- DFSP participants to submit an annual report.
- OCP participants to complete education requirements.
- EM Cap participants to complete education requirements.
Contact OMA’s Brian Jackson if you have questions. 3/17/2019
The BWC’s March 28 employer webinar will cover important updates on your policy, the estimated annual premium letter, the Safety Council rebate program, the upcoming rate reduction, and changing your installment schedule or estimated exposure. Plus the monthly safety tip.
OSHA is requesting information as the agency considers rulemaking to update the powered industrial trucks standards for general, maritime, and construction industries. The standards became effective in 1971, and were based on industry consensus standards from 1969. Since then, national consensus standards have been updated several times.
OSHA is requesting information on: the types, age, and usage of powered industrial trucks; maintenance and retrofitting; how to regulate older powered industrial trucks; types of accidents and injuries associated with operating these machines; costs and benefits of retrofitting the machines with safety features; and other components of a safety program. OSHA will use the information received in response to this request to determine what action, if any, it may take to reduce regulatory burdens and create jobs while improving worker safety.
Comments must be submitted on or before June 10, 2019.
Powered industrial trucks include forklifts, fork trucks, tractors, platform lift trucks, motorized hand trucks, and other specialized industrial trucks powered by an electrical motor or an internal combustion engine. 3/21/2019
Employers who participate in the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) Drug-free Safety Program (DFSP) are required to submit an annual report by the end of March each year.
Don’t panic. Here’s a helpful video from OMA Connections Partner, Working Partners(R), that will help you comply.
If you’re still stuck, contact Working Partners(R) for assistance. 3/14/2019
Well, in a safe way. Thank you to everyone who stopped by the OMA booth at the BWC’s Ohio Safety Congress this week.
Manufacturers put a pin in our big ‘safe manufacturers’ map so we could learn where they were all from.
We enjoyed seeing so many of our friends in person.
Special shout-out to OMA member Pepperidge Farm for supplying the Goldfish cracker snacks. 3/6/2019
OMA workers’ compensation account managers Juliet Walker and Melissa Ross with OMA member B.J. Fisher, EHS Coordinator, Haviland Drainage Products, at Ohio Safety Congress #OSC19
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) this week presented Safety Innovation Awards to four Ohio employers for developing innovative safety solutions.
First place with a cash prize of $6,000 was awarded to OMA member Francis Manufacturing Company, Russia.
A panel of independent judges evaluated and scored the innovations based on several criteria, including risk reduction, innovation, cost savings and potential for the innovation to be used by other employers.
Francis Manufacturing Company is a family owned aluminum sand foundry. The sand molding process required approximately 20 workers to shovel sand from floor level into molding machines. This could require workers to shovel more than 20,000 pounds of sand per nine-hour shift, increasing the risk of back and upper extremity injuries.
The company worked with Hapman, a material handling equipment company, to design a hopper-conveyor system. Workers now fill the hopper with a skid steer loader, eliminating the shoveling. The conveyor automatically dispenses sand into molds, further reducing upper extremity ergonomic risks.
Automating the molder’s sand handling has resulted in reduced absenteeism and increased production. Workers have reported increased energy at the end of shifts and have fewer complaints of back and shoulder pain.
Watch a video about the Hapman Sand Conveyance System. 3/7/2019
An email from Administrator McCloud:
An organization’s name is its identity. It bears the burden of conveying its substance and mission to its customers and stakeholders. That’s why I am excited we are considering a name change that better reflects the mission and good work of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.
We seek a name and brand that capture the spirit and dedication of our employees, as well as our commitment to be a world-class insurance carrier, a catalyst for a safe, healthy and prosperous Ohio.
A diverse internal working group began exploring a name change last summer (detailed in this report). Now we are seeking the feedback and ideas of BWC employees throughout the state and from you, our stakeholders. We recently sent the attached letter to BWC staff. I encourage you to read it and participate in this effort.
If you have any feedback or creative ideas that may help us, please email Bob Braun at BWC by Friday, March 15.
Thank you for your support. We look forward to hearing from you.
Stephanie B. McCloud
At its meeting last week, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) board of directors approved a 20 percent reduction in the average premium rate it collects from private employers. The reduction is BWC’s largest in nearly 60 years.
Overall, the average rate levels for the 242,000 Ohio employers in the BWC system are at their lowest in at least 40 years.
The 20 percent rate cut represents an average statewide change. The actual total premium paid by individual private employers depends on a number of factors, including the expected future claims costs in their industry, their company’s recent claims history, participation in various BWC rebate programs as well as assessments collected to fund the operations of the system. The board will consider these assessment rates during its next meeting in March.
The reduction will be effective beginning July 1. 2/25/2019
McCloud testified: “In comparison to our last budget, this budget reflects an 8.7% increase over the adjusted appropriations for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. This increase can largely be attributed to the 27th additional pay period in fiscal year 2020, the 2.75% increase in wages due to the last collective bargaining agreement and additional support for our Substance Use Recovery and Workplace Safety Program. The increase would support expanding the program to other counties and providing support staff to ensure the program is running efficiently and appropriately.”
The bill, which is mainly an appropriations bill, will become a political football over the next several months as business and labor work to make changes to the agency that benefit their constituencies. 2/28/2019
BWC Administrator/CEO Stephanie McCloud was a special guest presenter at OMA’s Safety & Workers’ Compensation committee meeting this week. Shown with committee chairman, Larry Holmes, Vice President – Finance & Administration, Fort Recovery Industries, Inc.