On March 29, 2010, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation voted to adopt its new Drug-Free Safety Program (DFSP) in an attempt to prevent workplace injuries attributed to the use or abuse of drugs and alcohol. The new program will replace the current Drug-Free Workplace Program and the Drug-Free EZ Program as of July 1, 2010.

The DFSP extends eligibility to more employers and eliminates the current program’s participation limit of five years. Other features of the new program include:

  • Two levels of participation – basic and advanced – which offers premium discounts ranging from 4% to 7% (the advanced level will require random drug testing of 25% of employees);
  • The new program will allow some small discount stacking for group rated employers participating at the advanced level – specifically, a group rated employer is not eligible for the base DFSP discount, but is eligible for the incremental 3% discount if it participates in DFSP at the advanced level;
  • One application period annually for private employers – May 31, 2010 for the current year and the last business day of April for subsequent years;
  • Required employee education (1 hour annually) and supervisor training (2 hours annually); and
  • Termination v. Second Chance Agreement – for the basic program level, employers can terminate for the first positive result but for the advanced program level, employers must provide a second chance agreement for the first positive result, except under certain circumstances.

Additional program information, including an application for interested employers, will be available April 2, 2010 at www.ohiobwc.com.