** IMPORTANT REMINDER **
DFSP JULY 1, 2016 PARTICIPANTS
The Bureau of Workers' Compensation's (BWC) Drug Free Safety Program Annual Report (DFSP-3 / DFSP-4) for July 1 start-date participants is due to the BWC by the last business day in March (this year, March 31, 2017).
The BWC sent out notification letters to current July 1, 2016 Drug-Free Safety Program participants with instructions for filing your annual report. For greater efficiency and accuracy, the BWC requests participating employers to submit this report online with instructions to fax all required attachments. The DFSP-3 form is for employers who are participating in the basic or advanced program. THE DFSP-4 form is for employers who are participating in the program at a level 0 or "comparable" program in order to maintain approval status on the BWC state contractor look-up site. For additional guidelines and information on completing your online annual report, please click on the BWC DFSP Annual Report link: https://www.ohiobwc.com/employer/forms/dfsp/annualreport3/default.aspx
If you need a copy of a paid testing invoice to include with your report, contact your testing vendor directly. Please note: if employee and/or supervisor training was conducted by CompManagement Risk Services between February 22, 2017 and March 20, 2017, invoices will be processed and sent out the week of March 21, 2017 (billing cycle).
If you have any questions, please contact us at 1-888-264-2635.
Application for Drug-Free Safety Program
If you are a private employer and would like to enroll the BWC's Drug-Free Safety Program (DSFP) for the program period July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018, the application deadline is the last business day in May (this year, May 31, 2017). Click here to apply online and submit the DFSP application (U-140).
EM CAP PROGRAM SAFETY TRAINING REQUIREMENTS
If you are a participating member of the BWC's EM (Experience Modification) Cap program for the 2016 policy year, you must complete safety training through the BWC's Division of Safety and Hygiene.
Without completion of this requirement, your eligibility to participate may be at risk and the BWC could issue an invoice to your organization for reimbursement of any discount already received off of your annual premium.
As a reminder, if your organization is eligible for the EM Cap program in subsequent years, you will be required to complete three (3) hours of online safety classes through the BWC Safety & Hygiene website by the last business day of March for each policy year that the EM Cap is to be applied to your annual premium.
For the first year in the program, the training options are:
A full or half-day industry specific safety class through the BWC’s Division of Safety & Hygiene. For available classes, visit the BWC's online Safety & Hygiene training center by clicking here.
For the subsequent year in the program, the training options are:
Three hours of online classes through the BWC’s Division of Safety & Hygiene. For available classes, visit the BWC's online Safety & Hygiene training center by clicking here.
ONE CLAIM PROGRAM SAFETY TRAINING REQUIREMENTS
If you are currently participating in the BWC's One Claim Program and have not completed the required safety training, you may be in jeopardy of being removed from the program. If this happens, the BWC will revise your rates and charge your policy with any additional 2016 premium due. Additionally, you will not be allowed to participate in the program for the 2017 rating year resulting in another increase in premium.
If you are a continuing member of the program, BWC requires that you complete three hours of online courses or attend a full-day or half-day classroom-style course offered through their Division of Safety & Hygiene (S&H) by March 31, 2017. If 2016 is your first rating year in the program you do not have the online training option. You must attend a classroom course through S & H by March 31, 2017.
For available classes, visit the BWC's Safety & Hygiene training center by clicking here.
CompManagement Risk Service
Safety Academy – 2nd Qtr. 2017
CompManagment Risk Service's second quarter 2017 Safety Academy schedule is now available. The webinar courses run from April through June 2017. We also have our first quarter remaining schedule available (through March 23, 2017).
Visit us at safety academy for additional information including dates and registration.
We will continue to update the schedule on a quarterly basis throughout the year with industry-specific and/or safety-oriented courses, along with compliance programs that will help you meet OSHA's core regulatory standards.
The Safety Academies are both one and two-hour webinar sessions that will provide you with tools to reduce occupational incidents, eliminate potential physical hazards and create an overall safer working environment. These courses will also meet the BWC's Group Rating / Group Retro Rating programs' safety training requirement.
How Do We Prevent Workplace Injuries?
Putting safety first is easier said than done, but preventing workplace injuries is a manageable problem. The key may be found in a quote from Walt Disney who once said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
Almost everyone says they support safety, and every company owner says that safety is a priority. Employees don’t want to get hurt, so why do we see so many workplace injuries? So often organizations have the right policies in place, and they may conduct the proper training. However, there is often no connection between safety administration and safe operations. In essence they have done the “talking,” but they haven’t begun “doing.” Following Walt’s advice could make a significant impact regarding injury prevention.
For example, take a close look at your office ergonomics program. If you do ergonomics training for all new hire employees and recurrent training for all office staff, you may think you’ve done all you can. You may even offer dynamic workstations and the latest in ergonomically correct input devices. But the questions to ask are these: How are the employees actually interacting with their workstations on a daily basis? Are they using those devices correctly? Do they adjust the chair appropriately? Do they stretch regularly? An effective ergonomics program includes workstation evaluations, employee monitoring, and intervention when needed to correct bad habits or noncompliance. If these last few pieces are not happening consistently, then the “talking” is done, but the “doing” is missing.
Safety is sometimes an administrative activity; it could even be a collateral duty of the HR Manager. If there is a Safety Manager, he or she may be responsible for training, OSHA compliance, and injury reporting. But who’s responsible for safe behaviors? Making the connection between administration and operations can make a huge impact on injury reduction. But in order to do this, the Safety Manager must have operational authority over the entire organization. This safety person would then be able to correct any unsafe behaviors without delay. Creating an immediate, and likely negative, consequence for unsafe behavior is often the only way to change behavior.
Better yet, a safety committee with representatives from each department, all with operational authority, could better impact behavior within the entire organization. Safety committees often have a meeting once a month (talking), but what happens between the meetings is the really important part (the doing). Getting out onto the shop floor, into the offices, out to job sites, or into the company vehicles is the only way to see what is really happening. Are employees following the rules? Are they engaged in safe behaviors? Are they taking shortcuts that have immediate positive impact on operations, but potentially a negative impact on safety?
Ultimately the improvement in these areas can lead to a culture where every employee feels he or she is a safety team member. If management properly supports safety, then employees watch out for each other, they correct unsafe conditions or behaviors on their own, and they follow their training because it’s the right thing to do. The safety program is working effectively and production no longer trumps safety. So get out there and start doing! You might be surprised at what you find.
MEMIC Safety Blog
The need for temporary workers to fill seasonal positions will be increasing with the upcoming spring and summer seasons. Many companies will use staffing agencies to fill these positions. But who is responsible for the safety and well-being of temporary workers, the host employer or the temporary staffing agency? Following are guidelines provided by OSHA on protecting temporary workers.
Employer Responsibilities to Protect Temporary Workers
To ensure that there is a clear understanding of each employer's role in protecting employees, OSHA recommends that the temporary staffing agency and the host employer set out their respective responsibilities for compliance with applicable OSHA standards in their contract. Including such terms in a contract will ensure that each employer complies with all relevant regulatory requirements, thereby avoiding confusion as to the employer's obligations.
While the extent of responsibility under the law of staffing agencies and host employers is dependent on the specific facts of each case, staffing agencies and host employers are jointly responsible for maintaining a safe work environment for temporary workers - including, for example, ensuring that OSHA's training, hazard communication, and recordkeeping requirements are fulfilled.
OSHA could hold both the host and temporary employers responsible for the violative condition(s) and that can include lack of adequate training regarding workplace hazards. Temporary staffing agencies and host employers share control over the worker, and are therefore jointly responsible for temporary workers' safety and health.
OSHA has concerns that some employers may use temporary workers as a way to avoid meeting all their compliance obligations under the OSH Act and other worker protection laws; that temporary workers get placed in a variety of jobs, including the most hazardous jobs; that temporary workers are more vulnerable to workplace safety and health hazards and retaliation than workers in traditional employment relationships; that temporary workers are often not given adequate safety and health training or explanations of their duties by either the temporary staffing agency or the host employer. Therefore, it is essential that both employers comply with all relevant OSHA requirements.
Both Host Employers and Staffing Agencies Have Roles
Both host employers and staffing agencies have roles in complying with workplace health and safety requirements and they share responsibility for ensuring worker safety and health.
A key concept is that each employer should consider the hazards it is in a position to prevent and correct, and in a position to comply with OSHA standards. For example: staffing agencies might provide general safety and health training, and host employers provide specific training tailored to the particular workplace equipment/hazards.
In conclusion, consider these points:
- The key is communication between the agency and the host to ensure that the necessary protections are provided.
- Staffing agencies have a duty to inquire into the conditions of their workers' assigned workplaces. They must ensure that they are sending workers to a safe workplace.
- Ignorance of hazards is not an excuse.
- Staffing agencies need not become experts on specific workplace hazards, but they should determine what conditions exist at their client (host) agencies, what hazards may be encountered, and how best to ensure protection for the temporary workers.
- The staffing agency has the duty to inquire and verify that the host has fulfilled its responsibilities for a safe workplace.
- And, just as important: Host employers must treat temporary workers like any other workers in terms of training and safety and health protections.
SPRING DRIVING SAFETY TIPS
Spring cleaning safety tips will come in handy this spring season. For workers who drive as part of the job, or even for those who drive to and from work, spring also brings along potentially dangerous driving conditions to be aware of.
Why Is Spring Driving Dangerous?
With winter fading into the background and better weather all around, you'd think the roads would finally be safe again. This isn't always the case. Following are some examples of dangerous driving conditions that can happen during spring.
- Rainy Days and Flooding. Spring rain brings slippery road conditions and flooding. According to the Federal Highway Administration, rain was a culprit in 46 percent of all weather-related crashes from 2005 to 2014, and wet pavement in general accounted for 73 percent. What makes rain and wet pavement so dangerous? For one, slippery roads reduce your car's handling and increase the distance it takes to stop (up to 4 times normal stopping distance). Big puddles can also cut down on tire traction and could lead to hydroplaning.
- Hail Season. Beware of hailstorms, particularly if you live in a hail-belt state (Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri). Even small hailstones can shatter windshields, and raining balls of ice are never good for the roads (or anybody, really).
- Winter Road Wear and Tear. In many states, winter wreaks havoc on the roads. Snow plows, salt, sand, and the aftermath of ice can all leave roads a bit battered. Once snow melts away, expect to drive over new potholes.
- Animal Activity. Animals are incredibly active during the spring. Some are emerging from hibernation, and others are entering mating season. This could mean that more animals are crossing streets and roaming around. Many animals, especially deer, are most active at dawn or dusk.
- More Bicycles on the Road. Spring also brings cyclists out of hibernation. Driving alongside cyclists can make traffic maneuvers, from turning right to parallel parking, more dangerous.
Spring Driving Safety Tips
- Check your lights: Since spring rain hinders driving visibility, make sure all your lights work, including headlights, taillights, backup lights, turn signals, parking lights, and brake lights.
- Replace your wiper blades: Worn-out wiper blades may not be up to the task of clearing water away from your windshield. Check your wiper blades and replace them if necessary (usually once a year).
- Check your tire pressure: Harsh winter weather can deflate your tires. Make sure you have enough air in them once spring rolls around. (As a bonus, proper tire pressure can also help you increase your mpg.)
- Slow down and drive carefully: The first few rainy days of spring can produce exceptionally slippery roads due to oil and other leaked fluids mixing with rainwater, so slow down and increase your stopping distance when it's raining.
- Keep your eyes peeled for bad road conditions: Remember that harsh winter weather breeds potholes and other driving obstacles.
- Watch out for animals: This is especially important during the early morning and evening when animals are most active.
Seasonal showers, migrating animals, and poor road conditions can create unpleasant complications out on the road. Use the above tips to your advantage and you'll be that much more prepared for any seasonal driving dangers that come your way.