FY21 Announcement from the Ohio BWC

The following email is an update from the Ohio BWC regarding FY21. It was sent on 7/8/20.

Dear safety council member,

As a valued member of an Ohio safety council, we want to inform you of important updates to the BWC Safety Council program for the upcoming fiscal year, that started July 1.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Ohio Safety Councils will conduct all meetings virtually (online only) this fiscal year. This is the safest way to hold meetings as we work to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio. We expect most safety councils will choose to host virtual meetings this year. However, if that is not the case with your local program, we will connect you with a neighboring safety council that will host you until in-person meetings resume.

The decision to go virtual will also make participation as easy as possible for you as you focus on resuming your operations and keeping your workforce safe.

In light of the difficult and unusual times, we will not be offering a rebate for participation nor the performance rebate (for those eligible) to employers who participate in the BWC Safety Council program.  

While this is not the usual direct financial reward for attending, we believe your business will still receive valuable workplace safety information and resources by attending meetings online. What you learn at upcoming virtual meetings can help with cost savings and keeping your workers safe from injuries and illness at work.

Look to your local safety council for information on upcoming meetings and programming as they remain your source for occupational safety and health and workers’ compensation information and resources!

Sincerely,

Michelle Francisco

BWC Safety Council Program Manager

Powered Industrial Trucks Training Requirements: June’s Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question: What training is required when an operator is to operate different types of powered industrial trucks?

Answer: OSHA’s Powered Industrial Trucks Standard 1910.178(l)(i) states that “The employer shall ensure that each powered industrial truck operator is competent to operate a powered industrial truck safely, as demonstrated by the successful completion of the training and evaluation specified in this paragraph (l).” 1910.178(l)(3) requires that operators receive training in the topics which are applicable to the safe operation of the truck in the employer’s workplace.

Therefore, an operator must be trained and evaluated in the safe operation for the type of truck that the operator will be assigned to operate in the employer’s workplace. For example, if an operator is assigned to operate a sit-down counterbalanced rider truck, then the operator must be trained and evaluated in the safe operation for that type of truck. If an operator is assigned to operate an operator-up counterbalanced front/side loader truck, or a rough terrain forklift, then the operator must be trained and evaluated in the safe operation for those types of trucks.

A sit-down counterbalanced rider truck, an operator-up counterbalanced front/side loader truck, and a rough terrain forklift are different types of trucks. Operators who have successfully completed training and evaluation as specified in 1910.178(l) (in a specific type of truck) would not need additional training when they are assigned to operate the same type of truck made by a different manufacturer. However, operators would need additional training if the applicable truck-related and workplace-related topics listed in 1910.178(l)(3) are different for that truck.

*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

First Aid Response Times: May’s Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question: What is OSHA’s current interpretation of the response times for first aid in response to life-threatening bleeding, including active shooter incidents?

Answer: OSHA’s current interpretations of the response times for first aid in response to life-threatening bleeding are addressed in letters of interpretation. These letters state in part:

In workplaces where serious accidents such as those involving falls, suffocation, electrocution, or amputation are possible, emergency medical services must be available within 3-4 minutes, if there is no employee on the site who is trained to render first aid…While the standards do not prescribe a number of minutes, OSHA has long interpreted the term “near proximity” to mean that emergency care must be available within no more than 3-4 minutes from the workplace, an interpretation that has been upheld by the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission and by federal courts…The basic purpose of these [first aid] standards is to assure that adequate first aid is available in the critical minutes between the occurrence of an injury and the availability of physician or hospital care for the injured employee… Medical literature establishes that, for serious injuries such as those involving stopped breathing, cardiac arrest, or uncontrolled bleeding, first aid treatment must be provided within the first few minutes to avoid permanent medical impairment or death…

These time limits are maximums. OSHA does not prohibit but encourages shorter response times when feasible. In order for OSHA standards to more comprehensively address response times to uncontrolled bleeding, it would entail a notice of proposed rulemaking and comment effort.

These recommendations are consistent with the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Standard 1710, Standard for the Organization and Deployment of Fire Suppression Operations, Emergency Medical Operations, and Special Operations to the Public by Career Fire Departments. This standard requires that emergency medical services ideally respond within one minute of turnout, that first responders take 4 minutes to get to the scene, and that other units should arrive within 8 minutes.

*Provided by the Ohio BWC safety consultants.

FY20 Official Statement from Ohio BWC

Latest update from the Ohio BWC on 4/20/20:

Dear Safety Council Rebate Program Participants,

We thank you for your patience as we’ve determined how to proceed with the FY20 Safety Council Rebate Program in the midst of COVID-19.

As you know, we directed safety council sponsors to cancel March, April, and May safety council meetings in light of public health concerns. And today’s announcement will eliminate the need for sponsors to host a June meeting. As a result of these cancellations, we realize it is impossible for many of you to complete the program’s FY20 rebate eligibility requirements.

Therefore, we will provide the FY20 rebate to safety council members who, as of Feb. 29, 2020, had attended at least FOUR safety council meetings. This determination was based on crediting each member with one meeting credit for each cancelled meeting, the maximum of two external training credits and waiving the CEO attendance and calendar year 2019 semi-annual report requirements.

Although we realize a small number of safety councils host more than one meeting a month late in the program year, we are granting relief for only one safety council meeting credit per month in March, April, May, and June. This resolution reinforces the program’s goal of active participation for the purpose of education, networking and resource sharing and, unfortunately, members who condense participation to the latter part of the program year will not appreciate relief from this solution.

Ultimately, employers we determine have earned the rebate under the revised guidelines will receive the maximum percentage rebate allowed per their BWC group-rating status:

  • 2% for employers enrolled in BWC’s Group-Retrospective-Rating Program and eligible for the participation rebate.
  • 2% for employers enrolled in BWC’s Group-Experience-Rating Program and eligible for the performance bonus – there will be no claims data measurement calculation.
  • 4% for employers not enrolled in a BWC Group-Rating Program.

Your safety council sponsor will submit July 1, 2019 through February 29, 2020 attendance records to us when normal business operations resume. The timeline for the processing of these rebates is yet to be determined but we will continue to update safety council sponsors when you should expect FY20 safety council program rebate checks.

Our most sincere interest is the health, wellness and safety of Ohio’s workforce. Be safe and take care.

Michelle Francisco

BWC Safety Council Program Manager

Respirator Fit-Testing Guidelines: April’s Safety & Hygiene Corner

Question: Can you explain the Temporary Guidance for Respirator Fit-Testing in Healthcare from OSHA?

Answer: OSHA has issued temporary enforcement guidance for respirator fit-testing in healthcare during COVID-19 outbreak

This guidance is aimed at ensuring healthcare workers have full access to needed N95 respiratory protection in light of anticipated shortages.

OSHA recommends that employers supply healthcare personnel who provide direct care to patients with known or suspected coronavirus with other respirators that provide equal or higher protection, such as N99 or N100 filtering facepieces, reusable elastomeric respirators with appropriate filters or cartridges, or powered air purifying respirators.

This temporary enforcement guidance recommends that healthcare employers change from a quantitative fit testing method to a qualitative testing method to preserve integrity of N95 respirators. Additionally, OSHA field offices have the discretion to not cite an employer for violations of the annual fit testing requirement as long as employers:

  • Make a good faith effort to comply with the respiratory protection standard;
  • Use only NIOSH-certified respirators;
  • Implement strategies recommended by OSHA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for optimizing and prioritizing N95 respirators;
  • Perform initial fit tests for each healthcare employee with the same model, style, and size respirator that the employee will be required to wear for protection from coronavirus;
  • Tell employees that the employer is temporarily suspending the annual fit testing of N95 respirators to preserve the supply for use in situations where they are required to be worn;
  • Explain to employees the importance of conducting a fit check after putting on the respirator to make sure they are getting an adequate seal;
  • Conduct a fit test if they observe visual changes in an employee’s physical condition that could affect respirator fit; and
  • Remind employees to notify management if the integrity or fit of their N95 respirator is compromised.

The temporary enforcement guidance is in effect beginning March 14, 2020 and will remain in effect until further notice.   Appropriate respiratory protection is required for all healthcare personnel providing direct care of these patients. For additional guidance, see COVID-19 Hospital Preparedness Assessment Tool, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/hcp-hospital-checklist.html.