Beginning July 1, employers that wish to apply for a transitional work grant no longer have to have a lost time claim in their experience in order to qualify. The change means that employers that have not had a lost time claim can apply for the grant program and work with a BWC certified developer to implement the cost savings program.
A well designed transitional work program is the most important tool for controlling the costs of workers' compensation claims. The BWC recently released some very compelling information from a five year research study that showed:
If your company would like to explore a transitional work program in your facility, please contact our offices.
The final step to the BWC's transition to Prospective Billing is in progress and missing the deadline could mean that your company is removed from their current workers' compensation rating or discount programs. For some companies, removal from their current rating plan or the discount programs could mean a dramatic increase in workers' compensation premium costs.
The deadline for "True-up" (or reporting the actual payroll of the company and reconciling any differences) is August 15th. Read more here: Prospective Billing
Please note: This requirement affects all Ohio BWC state fund private employers.
Much of the attention to OSHA's record keeping rule has focused on the new electronic requirements. But employers with drug testing programs should also pay immediate attention to the injury reporting requirements included in the updated rule.
Injury reporting requirements have been clarified and explicitly require that employers have a reasonable written policy "informing each employee how he or she is to report a work related injury or illness promptly and accurately." OSHA explains that a procedure is not reasonable if the rule would discourage the employee from accurately reporting the injury or illness. While the new rule stops short of making across the board post accident testing a violation, OSHA instructs employers to only use post injury drug testing "when there is a reasonable possibility that drug use by the reporting employee was a contributing factor" because across the board testing can be viewed as discouragement from reporting the injury.
What we recommend:
As always, if you have any questions, please call our offices
As most of you know, the governor has signed the bill for medical marijuana into law. The law takes effect on September 8, 2016 and will allow the use as long as the patient qualifies under the law. Much of the law will be crafted after a 13 member advisory board is appointed. However, the inclusion of an Affirmative Defense in the law, allows patients who meet the requirements of the program to legally possess and use medical marijuana beginning on September 8, 2016. That's why it is important for employers to review their policies and communicate to employees immediately.
1. Decide your policy.
2. Update substance abuse policy
We strongly urge all employers to address this issue before September.
July 1st means the start of a new policy year for Ohio's private employers and, with that, the start of a new program year for the Drug Free Safety, Transitional Work Bonus, Industry Specific Safety and Safety Council programs. As always, it's important for employers to meet the deadline requirements from the BWC:
Also, coming up for private employers is the deadline to "True-up" (or report their actual payroll and reconcile any difference) for payroll year 2015 on August 15. The True-up is the final step required of Ohio's private employers in the Ohio BWC's transition to prospective billing. Miss this deadline and the BWC has said it will remove employers from their current rating or discount programs. To True Up, visit the BWC website: Prospective Billing
Lastly, employers with a substance abuse program should look closely at their medical marijuana and post accident testing policies in the next month. Read more about both here: Record Keeping Rule Affects Post Accident Testing Policies and Employers Should Address Medical Marijuana Policy by September.