Rule Update: Ohio Provides for Safety Grant Program

04 Aug, 2022 Frank Ferreri

                               

Columbus, OH (WorkersCompensation.com) -- A recent update to Ohio rules looks to make the Buckeye State a little safer for workers.

Under the new rule:

  • The administrator may establish a program of safety grants for safety interventions or research for eligible employers.
  • The safety grant program may provide grant funds to an eligible employer for safety interventions including education, training, research, or purchase of equipment to prevent occupational injuries, illnesses, or fatalities.

The purpose of the safety intervention grant program is for the state bureau's division of safety and hygiene to fund employer interventions that reduce the risk of injuries, illnesses, and fatalities in the workplace, investigate the effectiveness of safety interventions in preventing occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities and establish safety and health best practices. For this purpose, the bureau may make safety grants to employers. 

Under the rule, the bureau will determine whether the employer's policy is eligible for the safety grant program under this rule. The employer must satisfy the following criteria:

  1. The safety grant program is available only to a private state fund employer, a public employer taxing district, a marine industry fund employer, or a coal-workers' pneumoconiosis fund employer.
  2. The employer shall have active state fund-coverage to participate in the safety grant program.
  3. The employer shall have active coverage for one year prior before applying for a safety grant and shall maintain active coverage for the one year after implementation of the safety intervention under the safety grant approved by the bureau.
  4. The employer shall be current with respect to all payroll reporting and required payments due to any fund administered by the bureau. 
  5. The employer shall not have more than forty days of cumulative lapses in workers compensation coverage within the prior twelve months. 

An employer's proposed safety intervention must explain how one of the following objectives is attained through receipt of safety grant funds: 

  1. Reduction of risk of workplace injuries, illnesses, or fatalities; or
  2. Advancement of research into the prevention of workplace injuries, illnesses, or fatalities.

The rule requires employers to agree to not eliminate jobs or reduce employment due to the intervention funded by the safety grant program. If the bureau determines an employer has violated this provision, the employer shall be immediately disqualified from participation in the safety grant program, and the employer shall return all disbursed safety grant funds to the bureau for the intervention that eliminated jobs or reduced employment.

An employer who complies with the requirements of the safety grant program under the rule will be eligible to receive a grant from the bureau. a

If the approved safety intervention is not training, the employer shall purchase and implement all approved safety interventions within three months from the date that the bureau disburses safety grant funds to the employer.

If the approved safety intervention is training, the employer shall purchase and conduct the approved training within six months from the date that the bureau disburses the safety grant funds.

But he purchase and implementation of the safety intervention can take place only after the approval of the safety grant funds.

Employers must provide purchase documentation to the bureau within 30 days of the period applicable to the safety intervention.

Forms, email updates, legal, regulatory, and compliance information from Ohio and 52 other jurisdictions across the U.S. can be found on WorkCompResearch.com.


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    About The Author

    • Frank Ferreri

      Frank Ferreri, M.A., J.D. covers workers' compensation legal issues. He has published books, articles, and other material on multiple areas of employment, insurance, and disability law. Frank received his master's degree from the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

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