Ohio: Comp board reviews options for drug-free safety program
Plans are under way to sunset the state's current drug-free workplace program and replace it with a new initiative by July 1. The changes were called for in the recent comprehensive study of Ohio's workers' comp system, and a collection of safety and business professionals have studied ways to enhance the program and improve its effectiveness in preventing substance abuse-related injuries.
"A solid substance abuse program in the workplace is essential to preventing injuries and limiting associated increases in workers' compensation premiums," said Marsha Ryan, administrator of the BWC. "The comprehensive study performed by Deloitte Consulting Inc. clearly demonstrates the need for a redesigned program that is more consistent with similar programs in other states and places a greater emphasis on maintaining drug-free work environments through safety and prevention."
The new drug-free safety initiative will simplify the process for employers to join and implement a program that will provide measurable results by tracking drug or substance abuse-related accidents. The restructured program will offer two levels of participation -- basic and advanced -- and premium discounts ranging from 4 to 7 percent.
Ryan said the new program will feature streamlined safety components that meet the needs in the workplace without overburdening employers. In addition, the program is expected to allow some small discount stacking for group employers participating at the advanced level. A final vote on the new initiative is expected in the coming weeks.
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May 6, 2010
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