changes have recently been implemented by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). Under new guidelines, if you are participating in a Group Rating Program you will no longer be eligible to receive a discount for participating in the Drug-Free Workplace Program (DFWP).
Since the DFWP program is a continuous program for five (5) years, the BWC has indicated that if you do not meet the requirements for any number of years during the time that you are in Group Rating you will no longer be eligible for the DFWP discount if you are removed from Group Rating in the future. If you continue with the program requirements (training, testing and annual report submission) while you are in Group Rating and you are removed from Group Rating before your 5 years end, then you would be eligible to receive a discount for participating in the DFWP program at that time to complete your remaining 5 years.
The choice to maintain a Drug-Free Workplace Program is now up to you as the employer; however, we still recommend that you continue with this program. It is estimated that 38% - 50% of all workers’ compensation claims are drug & alcohol related. According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, addressing safety and health issues in the workplace can also save the employer money and can add value to the business. Recent estimates place business costs associated with occupational injuries at nearly $170 billion a year.
According to the BWC, Ohio law states all companies that bid or work on state construction jobs must have drug-free workplace programs. This law applies to contractors and all levels of subcontractors who would like to work on a State of Ohio construction project or who would like to bid on and eventually provide labor services and/or supervise workers on state construction sites. If this applies to your business, you will need to maintain your Drug-Free Workplace program.
If you will not be participating in the Group Rating Program and you do not currently participate in the BWC Drug-Free Workplace Program, we strongly encourage you to enroll. Sheakley can provide the following services: Application Submission, Drug & Alcohol Policy Development, Set-up of Drug & Alcohol testing, Employee Education, Supervisor Training, Train the Trainer and Employee Assistance Referral.
Please contact Sheakley if you have any questions about your current Drug-Free Workplace Program status based on the new changes that have been implemented by the BWC. The Sheakley Health & Safety Services consultants can be reached at 800-877-5055 x2014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.