OhioBWC - Basics: (Policy library) - File

 

Policy Name:

Industry-Specific Safety Program (ISSP)

Policy #:

EP-09-01

Code/Rule Reference

Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) 4123-17-56.3; 4123-17-74, Appendix A, B, and C; and 4123-17-75, Appendix

Effective Date:

July 1, 2021

Approved:

Rex Blateri, Interim Chief of Employer Services

Origin:

Employer Policy

Supersedes:

Industry-Specific Safety Program (ISSP) dated July 1, 2019.

History:

Revised November 8, 2021; October 24, 2019; August 18, 2016; July 14, 2015. New policy issued October 30, 2013.

Review Date:

July 1, 2026

 

 

I.      Policy Purpose

 

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) offers an Industry-Specific Safety Program (ISSP) bonus to employers who meet the program requirements in accordance with all applicable laws and rules.

 

II.    Applicability

 

This policy applies to employers, authorized representatives, BWC Employer Programs, Regional Employer Services, and the Division of Safety & Hygiene (DSH).

 

III.   Definitions

A.    Alternate Employer Organization (AEO): A sole proprietor, partnership, association, limited liability company, or corporation that enters into an agreement with one or more client employers for the purposes of providing human resource management services and sharing employer responsibility and liability. AEO does not include a temporary service agency. OAC 4123-17-15.

B.    Combine: Where one employer succeeds another employer in the operation of a business, BWC combines the employers into one policy for workers’ compensation purposes.

C.   Eligibility determination year: The most recent full policy year, prior to the program year, for which payroll information is available. For private employers the policy year is July 1 through the following June 30. For public employers the policy year is January 1 through December 31. See section IV.D.3.d for explanation of how new employers without a full year of recorded premium are handled.

D.   Loss prevention activities: Program activities that participants must complete to satisfy program requirements. Participants are required to complete one, two, or three activities, which are:

1.    Industry-specific safety classes prescribed by DSH;

2.    Individual safety and health consulting with staff from DSH; or

3.    Attendance at DSH’s annual Ohio Safety Congress & Expo.

E.    New employer: An employer who is a new business entity in Ohio; or an out of state employer who has not had prior operations in Ohio and no prior workers’ compensation coverage in Ohio.

F.    Primary industry: The industry group with the highest premium during the employer’s eligibility determination year. Industry groups and classification codes are set forth in OAC 4123-17-05, Appendix A.

G.   Professional Employer Organization (PEO): A sole proprietor, partnership, association, limited liability company or corporation that enters into an agreement with one or more client employers for the purpose of co-employing all or part of the client employer’s workforce at the client employer’s work site. PEO does not include a temporary service agency. OAC 4123-17-15.

H.   Program year: The policy year for which the employer seeks to obtain the ISSP bonus.

I.      Pure premium: The employer’s calculated premiums prior to adding any administrative cost or Disabled Workers’ Relief Fund (DWRF) assessments.

J.     Safety Management Self-Assessment (SH-26): The SH-26 helps employers evaluate their safety and claims management systems and identify opportunities for improvement. The form contains eleven (11) safety and health categories considered critical to an effective safety and health process. The person(s) in the organization most familiar with the current safety and claims management process must complete the form.

IV.  Policy

A.    Eligibility Criteria:

1.    The employer must be a state-fund private employer (PA employer) or a public employer taxing district employer (PEC employer).

2.    As of the application deadline, the employer must:

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; and

c.     Report actual payroll for the preceding policy year and paid any premium due upon reconciliation of estimated premium with actual premium for that policy year no later than the application deadline. See the Payroll True-Up policy for additional information.

3.    The following employers are not eligible for ISSP:

a.    Employers paying the minimum administrative charge for the applicable payroll reporting period as set forth in OAC 4123-17-26;

b.    State agencies; and

c.     Self-insuring employers.

B.    An AEO or a PEO may be eligible for the ISSP bonus under the following conditions:

1.    All the AEO’s clients and the AEO, or all the PEO’s clients and the PEO, must meet all eligibility and program requirements.

2.    The AEO or the PEO submits affirmation to BWC that the AEO and all the AEO’s clients, or the PEO and all the PEO’s clients, have submitted applications consistent with OAC 4123-17-56.3(C)(1).

3.    The AEO or the PEO submits an electronic list to BWC of each of the client employers with whom the AEO or the PEO has an agreement as of May 1 of the applicable policy year.

a.    BWC will determine the format of the list.

b.    The AEO or the PEO will include each client employer’s name, address, federal tax identification number (TIN), BWC policy number, and amount of payroll listed by classification code.

c.     If BWC determines the AEO or the PEO manipulated the client list, the AEO or the PEO will not be eligible for the ISSP bonus.

d.    BWC will hold the list as a confidential trade secret per ORC 4125.05 and 4133.07.

C.   Application Requirements.

1.    An employer must file an Application for Industry-Specific Safety Program (SH-28) with BWC.

2.    BWC will automatically renew the employer for each subsequent program year provided the employer has completed activities in at least one of the previous two program years and meets all eligibility requirements.

3.    Application deadlines:

a.    For PA employers, applications must be filed by the last business day of May prior to the July 1 program year.

b.    For PEC employers, applications must be filed by the last business day of November prior to the January 1 program year.

4.    An employer who opts out, voluntarily withdraws, or is removed or non-renewed by BWC, must file a new application to participate in a future program year.

D.   Operation of program.

1.    The employer must complete a Safety Management Self-Assessment (SH-26) annually. The SH-26 must be completed no earlier than four months prior to the start of program year and no later than thirty (30) days after the start of the program year.

a.    An employer participating in multiple programs may submit one SH-26 to fulfill the annual requirement for all programs requiring an SH-26.

b.    Multiple submissions of the SH-26 for the prior program year will not relieve the employer of the requirement to submit an SH-26.

2.    The employer must provide any follow-up data or information requested by DSH.

3.    The employer must complete the required number of loss prevention activities prior to the end of the program year to qualify for an ISSP bonus. The required number of loss prevention activities will be based on the employer’s eligibility determination year payroll.

a.    If payroll is less than or equal to $100,000, the employer must complete one loss prevention activity;

b.    If payroll is greater than $100,000 and less than or equal to $300,000, the employer must complete two loss prevention activities; or

c.     If payroll is greater than $300,000, the employer must complete three loss prevention activities.

d.    In determining the loss prevention activities for a new employer without a full year of recorded premium, BWC may calculate and use the employer’s estimated expected payroll. If a new employer combines with an existing policy, the predecessor’s payroll will be used in the second year of participation to determine the number of required activities.

e.    BWC provides the employer a service offering on www.bwc.ohio.gov that defines the employer’s eligibility determination year payroll. The service offering also provides the employer’s:

i.      Required number of loss prevention activities based on payroll level;

ii.     Primary industry; and

iii.    Number of loss prevention activities completed.

4.    Industry-specific safety courses prescribed by DSH.

a.    The employer’s industry classification and payroll amount define the type and length of industry-specific safety courses the employer must complete to qualify for one loss prevention activity credit. Not all DSH courses qualify for every industry classification.

b.    Online education: An employer successfully completing three hours of online education earns one loss prevention activity credit.

c.     DSH classroom courses: An employer successfully completing a half day, full day, or multiple day course earns one loss prevention activity credit.

d.    An employee of the employer must attend and complete courses for the employer to receive loss prevention activity credit. Employer representatives, including, but not limited to, employees of third-party administrators, are not considered employees of the employer.

e.    Attendance at a single safety course by multiple employees for a single employer results in a maximum of one loss prevention activity credit, regardless of the number of employees in the course.

f.      Completion of a multiple day course by multiple employees for a single employer results in one loss prevention activity credit regardless of the number of employees in attendance; e.g., OSHA 10-hour and 30-hour multiple day classes only qualify as one loss prevention credit.

g.    Only DSH industry-specific courses are eligible for loss prevention activity credit. DSH’s Industry-specific safety classes webpage identifies industry-specific courses and online education that qualify for loss prevention activity credit.

5.    Industry-specific safety courses must be satisfied by the employer on a policy number basis because each policy number is considered a separate entity.

6.    Individual safety and health consulting with staff from DSH.

a.    DSH safety and health specialists may conduct loss prevention consultation activities based on the employer’s unique needs, qualifying the employer for up to three loss prevention activity credits.

b.    Following the consultation, the employer must complete follow-up activities to receive credit for the loss prevention activity. Follow-up activities may include responding to a DSH action plan or completing a post-training survey. Follow-up activity documentation must be submitted to DSH prior to the end of the program year.

c.     DSH determines the availability of safety and health consulting staff. DSH safety and health consultation staff are scheduled far in advance and may not be available to meet employer needs on short notice, especially near the end of the program year. Employers are advised to schedule safety and health consultations early in the program year to ensure services are received prior to the end of the program year and allow sufficient time to address DSH action plan recommendations.

d.    The employer does not receive credit for multiple consultations of the same type of service. For example, two ergonomic consultations will only count as one loss prevention activity within the program year.

e.    Employers participating in ISSP and engaging in an OSHA On-Site consultation evaluation must sign the authorization form to receive loss prevention activity credit.

7.    Attendance at BWC’s annual Ohio Safety Congress & Expo.

a.    A minimum of three one-hour sessions (educational and general sessions both qualify), a half-day workshop, or a full day workshop is required to qualify for an Ohio Safety Congress activity credit.

b.    Attendance at the Ohio Safety Congress can result in a maximum of one loss prevention activity credit, no matter how many sessions or how many employees are in attendance. An Ohio Safety Congress attendee may not represent more than one policy number.

c.     An employee of the employer must attend Ohio Safety Congress for the employer to receive an activity credit. Employer representatives, including, but not limited to, employees of third-party administrators, are not considered employees of the employer.

8.    An employer can use multiple loss prevention activities as desired. For example:

a.    If an employer is required to complete three loss prevention activities, the employer can complete two different full day classes (two activities) and attend three hours of training sessions (one activity) at the Ohio Safety Congress; or

b.    The employer could also have two different consultations (for example, one air monitoring survey plus one ergonomics assessment equals two activities) and complete one half-day class (one activity).

9.    ISSP bonus amount: The ISSP bonus percentage amount identified in the appendix to OAC 4123-17-75 times the employer’s pure premium during the program year.

a.    To qualify for the ISSP bonus an employer must:

i.      Have coverage that is in an active status at the time of calculation; and

ii.     Report actual payroll for the program participation 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.

b.    The ISSP bonus and the incentives earned through participation in other Destination: Excellence programs cannot reduce an employer’s premium due below the amount of the minimum administrative charge as set forth in OAC 4123-17-26.

c.     BWC will not issue an ISSP bonus to an employer paying the minimum administrative charge for the applicable program year.

d.    Rate adjustments made to an employer’s account after the issuance of the ISSP bonus may result in recalculation of the ISSP bonus.

10.  An employer participating in ISSP may participate in other compatible BWC rating and discount programs. Employer program compatibility is outlined in OAC 4123-17-74, Appendix C.

E.    Exit or removal from program.

1.    An employer may voluntarily withdraw from the ISSP during the program year by notifying BWC in writing, including by email or by fax. The withdrawal request must be signed by the chief executive officer or designated management representative of the employer.

2.    BWC will remove from the program an employer 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 an ISSP bonus for that program year. BWC will not automatically renew the employer in the ISSP if the withdrawal or removal occurs before the start of the automatic renewal process.

4.    An employer who opts out of the program for the subsequent policy year must notify BWC in writing by the application deadline.

5.    An employer who is removed from the program may file a new application to participate in a future program year.

F.    Resolution of complaints.

1.    Employer complaints must be processed under the General Employer Complaint Policy. BWC has not identified any program-specific extenuating circumstances that apply to ISSP.

2.    BWC does not grant relief in circumstances where the employer fails to complete the required loss prevention activities during the program year as outlined in IV.D.3, unless DSH has granted an extension for all employers.

G.   Combinations and transfers, excluding AEOs and PEOs See section IV.B for AEOs and PEOs.

1.    Predecessor: Enrolled in ISSP.

Successor: New employer without prior coverage.

Action: The successor is not eligible for the ISSP until the next program year. Successor is transferred predecessor’s rights and obligations under the ISSP. Any benefit for predecessor’s participation is based on predecessor’s pure premium for the program year.

2.    Predecessor: Not enrolled in ISSP.

Successor: Enrolled in ISSP.

Action: Successor remains eligible for ISSP participation for the entire program year.

3.    Predecessor: Enrolled in ISSP.

Successor: Enrolled in ISSP.

Action: Successor remains eligible for ISSP participation for the entire program year. Successor is transferred predecessor’s rights and obligations under the ISSP. Any benefit for predecessor’s participation is based on predecessor’s pure premium for the program year.

4.    Predecessor: Enrolled in ISSP.

Successor: Not enrolled in ISSP, including a self-insuring employer.

Action: Successor is not in ISSP. Successor is transferred predecessor’s rights and obligations under the ISSP. Any benefit for predecessor’s participation is based on predecessor’s pure premium for the program year.

5.    Predecessor: Enrolled in ISSP.

Successor: Debtor-in-possession.

Action: An individual employer participating in the ISSP who becomes a debtor-in-possession during the program year remains eligible for ISSP participation for the entire program year.