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OhioBWC - Basics: (Policy library) - File

Safety Council

 

Policy Name:

Safety Council Rebate Program

Policy #:

SP-19-02

Code/Rule Reference:

ORC 4123.29, 4125; OAC 4123-17-56.2; 4123-17-74 and Appendix C; 4123-17-75 and Appendix; 4123-17-14, 4123-17-26.

Effective Date:

July 1, 2015

Origin:

Division of Safety and Hygiene (DSH)

Supersedes:

Safety Council Rebate Program policy dated September 4, 2014.

History:

Revised November 4, 2016; November 18, 2014. New policy issued July 6, 2012.

Review Date:

July 1, 2020

 

 

I.       Policy Purpose

 

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has established a rebate program for employers participating in a local safety council.

 

II.     Applicability

 

This policy applies to employers, local safety councils, the Division of Safety and Hygiene (DSH), and BWC Field Operations.

 

III.    Definitions

 

A.     Baseline year: Twelve (12) month period used to calculate an employer’s performance bonus.

1.     For private employers (PA): The July 1 to June 30 prior to the current program year.

2.     For public employer taxing districts (PEC): The January 1 to December 31 prior to the current program year.

B.     Chief Executive Officer (CEO): The employer’s top ranking employee at the local facility. This can be the CEO, plant manager, or owner, etc.

C.    Measurement year: Twelve (12) month period that BWC uses to calculate severity and frequency for an employer fulfilling the eligibility requirements of the Safety Council Rebate Program.

1.     For private employers: July 1 through June 30.

2.     For public employer taxing districts: January 1 through December 31.

D.    Frequency: Claims per $1 million of payroll. BWC calculates an employer’s frequency by multiplying the total number of allowed claims reported in the measurement year by $1 million and dividing by the employer’s total payroll for that year.

E.     Local safety council: An entity contracted with BWC to provide a safety campaign according to standards set by DSH.

F.     Program year: July 1 through the following June 30.

G.    Pure premium: The employer’s calculated premiums before any administrative costs or Disabled Workers’ Relief Fund (DWRF) assessments are added.

H.    Severity: Number of days absent per $1 million of payroll. BWC calculates an employer’s severity by multiplying the total number of days absent in the measurement year by $1 million and dividing by the employer’s total payroll for that year.

IV.   Policy

A.     Eligibility criteria.

1.     To receive a Safety Council Rebate the employer must meet the following criteria as of the annual application deadline of July 31:

a.     Be current with respect to all payments due BWC as defined in OAC 4123-17-14.

b.     Not have cumulative lapses in workers’ compensation coverage in excess of forty (40) days within the prior twelve (12) months.

2.     The employer must timely report actual payroll for the preceding policy year and pay any premium due upon reconciliation of estimated premium and actual premium. An employer will be deemed to have met this requirement if BWC receives the payroll report and the employer pays premium associated with such report before the expiration of any grace period. See the Payroll True-Up policy for additional information.

3.     The following employers are not eligible to receive Safety Council Rebates:

a.     Self-insuring employers.

b.     State agencies.

c.      An employer participating in an incompatible discount or rating program. Program compatibility is outlined in OAC 4123-17-74, Appendix C.

i.       An employer participating in Group Experience Rating Program is eligible only for the performance bonus.

ii.      An employer participating in Group Retrospective Rating Program is eligible only for the participation bonus.

iii.     A PA employer’s Group status as of July 1 prior to the application deadline, and a PEC employer’s Group status as of the previous January 1 prior to the application deadline, determines program eligibility.

4.     Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) are not eligible for a Safety Council Rebate unless all of the following requirements are met:

a.     The PEO and all of the PEO’s clients meet all eligibility and program requirements;

b.     The PEO electronically submits affirmation to DSH that the PEO and all of its clients have enrolled in a local safety council by July 31 of the applicable program year; and

c.      The PEO submits an electronic list to DSH of each of the client employers it has an agreement with as of May 1 of the applicable policy year.

i.       DSH will determine the format of the list.

ii.      The PEO will include each client employer’s: name; address; federal tax identification number; BWC policy number; and the amount of payroll, listed by manual class code, reported by the PEO on behalf of the client employer.

iii.     If BWC determines the PEO manipulated the client list, the PEO will not be eligible for a Safety Council Rebate.

iv.    BWC will hold the client list as a confidential trade secret per ORC 4125.05.

5.     If an employer has applied for BWC coverage but has yet to receive active coverage status, a dated copy of receipt of application to BWC by the application deadline must be provided.

B.     Application requirements.

1.     An employer must apply for the program through a local safety council.

2.     The application deadline is July 31 of the program year.

3.     Annual enrollment and renewal policies vary from one safety council to another. Each employer should confirm these policies with its local safety council.

C.    Operation of Program.

1.     DSH will determine and publish the Safety Council Rebate Program Eligibility Requirements no later than sixty (60) days prior to the applicable program year start date.

2.     Rebate eligibility requirements.

a.     The employer can enroll in multiple safety councils, but is only eligible for one participation bonus and one performance bonus. The employer must fulfill all eligibility requirements in one safety council.

b.     The employer must attend ten meetings or events within one safety council during the program year.

c.      At least eight of the ten meetings or events must be safety council meetings.

d.     The employer must be enrolled in the safety council to receive credit for attending a meeting.

e.     Up to two of the ten meetings or events can be external training events, as outlined below, but all ten can be safety council meetings or events.

f.       Guidelines for meeting attendance credit:

i.       The employer must be in attendance for the majority of the meeting time.

ii.      The attendance of any employee qualifies for meeting attendance credit.

iii.     A person can represent only one policy number with his/her attendance.

iv.    No matter the duration of the meeting, training, or special event, attendance applies toward only one meeting credit.

v.      No matter the number of employees attending any one event, attendance applies toward only one meeting credit.

g.     Guidelines for external training credit:

i.       It is the employer’s responsibility to submit documentation to its safety council by June 30 of the current program year for attendance at non-safety council training or events. Documentation must be an official certificate of attendance or transcript.

ii.      External training event options are:

a)     Ohio Safety Congress & Expo.

b)     DSH safety training classroom courses offers through the Ohio Center for Occupational Safety & Health (OCOSH).

c)     Industry-specific training (with at least one hour of safety curriculum on the agenda).

iii.     Safety training conducted at the employers’ workplace, online courses, and required Drug-Free Safety Program training do not qualify as an external training credit.

h.     The employer’s CEO must attend one safety council meeting or event. (CEO attendance counts as credit toward one of the ten required meetings).

i.       If a CEO represents multiple policy numbers, his/her attendance fulfills the CEO attendance requirement for all policies, but counts as a meeting credit for only one policy.

ii.      An unforeseen event (e.g. injury, operational needs, military service) that prevents the CEO from attending one safety council event is not an acceptable reason to circumvent this requirement. The CEO has twelve (12) months in which to attend one event.

iii.     CEO attendance at a non-safety council-sponsored event (e.g. Safety Congress, OCOSH training) does not count toward the CEO requirement.

i.       The employer must submit semi-annual workplace accident reports for the previous calendar year.

3.     Performance bonus requirements.

a.     The employer must meet all rebate eligibility requirements under this program.

b.     The employer must reduce either its frequency or severity of allowed workers’ compensation claims by 10% from the baseline year, or remain at zero.

4.     Application of rebates.

a.     The participation and performance rebate amounts are both two percent (2%) of the employer’s pure premium during the program year, as set forth in the Appendix to OAC 4123-17-75.

b.     To qualify for any rebate the employer must:

i.       Have active coverage at the time BWC calculates the rebate. BWC may apply the calculated rebate to any outstanding balance at the time the rebate is posted to the policy.

ii.      Report actual payroll for the preceding policy year, and pay any premium due upon reconciliation of estimated premium and actual premium for that policy year no later than the due date set forth in OAC 4123-17-14. An employer will be deemed to have met this requirement if BWC receives the payroll report and premium due before the expiration of any grace period.

c.      Rebates cannot reduce an employer’s premium due below the amount of the minimum administrative charge as set forth in OAC 4123-17-26.

d.     BWC will not issue a rebate to an employer paying the minimum administrative charge for the applicable program year.

e.     Rate adjustments made to an employer’s account after the issuance of the rebate may result in recalculation of the rebate.

D.    Exit or removal from program.

1.     An employer may voluntarily withdraw from the Safety Council program by providing written notice to its local safety council.

2.     BWC will remove an employer from the program who fails to report actual payroll for the preceding policy year and pay any premium due upon reconciliation of estimated premium with actual premium no later than the due date. An employer will be deemed to have met this requirement if BWC receives the payroll report and associated premium prior to the expiration of any grace period.

3.     An employer who voluntarily withdraws or is removed from the program will not be eligible for a rebate for that program year.

E.     Resolution of complaints.

1.     Employer complaints should be processed under the General Employer Complaint Policy.

2.     Specific extenuating circumstances that apply to the Safety Council Rebate Program.

a.     Circumstances involving an error by the local safety council.

i.       Extenuating circumstance: The employer is denied a Safety Council Rebate due to an error by the local safety council. Examples include, but are not limited to:

a)     Employer attendance at an event is not counted due to administrative oversight.

b)     Employer claims to have enrolled in the Safety Council Rebate Program but the local safety council does not have documentation of enrollment.

ii.      Supporting documentation: Acknowledgement of the error in writing by the local safety council, employer documentation of enrollment by the deadline.

iii.     Resolution: The employer will be considered eligible for the program if all other eligibility requirements are met.

b.     Circumstance where employer is denied Performance Bonus due to voluntary retirement of claimant resulting in no return to work date in BWC’s data base.

i.       Extenuating circumstance: A claimant voluntarily retires in lieu of returning to work. In order for this scenario to apply, the retirement must be voluntary and must not be due to the disability or allowed conditions of the claim.

ii.      Supporting documentation: The employer must provide BWC one of the following:

a)     A signed affidavit from the employee specifying the effective date of retirement and attesting that the retirement is not due to the disability or allowed conditions of the claim or

b)     Official document(s) showing that the employee is 100% retired as of a specific date and that the employee retired under a normal age/length of service retirement plan (e.g. company retirement plan, Social Security, etc.) and not under a medical/disability retirement plan.

iii.     Resolution: Upon receipt of the documents, BWC will use the retirement date as the “return to work” date for purposes of determining the days absent for that specific claimant and will request that DSH recalculate the employer’s eligibility for a Performance Bonus.

c.      Circumstance where employer is denied Performance Bonus due to claimant declining or failing to respond to offer to return to work resulting in no return to work date in BWC’s data base.

i.       Extenuating circumstance: A claimant has failed to return to work despite being released by the physician of record, with or without restrictions. In order for this scenario to apply, the failure to return to work must be voluntary and must not be due to the disability or allowed conditions in the claim.

ii.      Supporting documentation: The employer must provide BWC all of the following:

a)     Release to return to work by the physician of record, with or without restrictions;

b)     A bona fide written offer from the employer to make clear the claimant has a position to which to return;

c)     Documented attempts to reach the claimant; and

d)     If the release to return to work includes restrictions, the employer’s written job offer must accommodate those restrictions.

iii.     Resolution: Upon receipt of the documentation, BWC will use the release to return to work date as the “return to work” date for purposes of determining the days absent for that specific claimant and will request that DSH recalculate the employer’s eligibility for a Performance Bonus.

3.     Specific circumstances related to Safety Council where BWC should NOT grant relief:

a.     Failure to attend the required number of meetings. An employer’s operational requirement that precludes an employee from attending a safety council event is not a valid extenuating circumstance, since any employee from the employer may attend and be credited for this requirement. In addition, credit for two meetings can be obtained by attending non-safety council events (e.g., OCOSH training classes, Safety Congress).

b.     CEO does not attend any Safety Council sponsored events. The CEO has ten or more opportunities to attend one event. Because the CEO has other, more pressing duties or obligations (e.g. accident, sickness) and was unable to attend the event he/she had planned on attending is not an extenuating circumstance. The fact that the CEO waited until the very last event to attend, and then was unable to attend, is not a valid reason to reverse the disqualification.


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