Thank you to all who have played such an important role in the ongoing success of the Utah Counties Indemnity Pool.
New OSHA Anti-Discrimination Rule, can I still do post-accident drug testing?
Many counties have expressed concern with the impact of the new OSHA anti-discrimination rule, with some believing the rule makes post-accident drug screening and safety incentive programs illegal. While the rule does not prohibit these practices, it does limit the way they are done.
The rule clarifies the existing implicit requirement that an employer’s procedure for reporting work-related injuries must be reasonable and not deter or discourage employees from reporting, and incorporates the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against employees for reporting work-related injuries.
UCIP recommends to prepare for the new rule by amending your post-accident drug testing policy to require testing after an accident where the influence of drugs or alcohol could have been a cause, or contributed to, the accident. An employee who was rear-ended at a stop sign for instance, would not be subject to a post-accident drug test. We believe that post-accident testing where the influence of drugs or alcohol could have been a cause or contributing factor to an accident will still be an acceptable practice under the new rule. Of course, any post-accident drug testing required by other state or federal rules, such as DOT standards, is still required, and should not be affected by the new rule.
With regard to safety incentive programs, counties should review the basis for incentives to determine if the program will pass the new anti-discrimination rule. Programs that are based on the number of injuries reported will likely be found in violation of the new rule, as such a program may tend to keep employees from reporting legitimate work injuries. Programs that are based on performance standards such as employees attending training or audit results that show employees are following safety rules and standards should still be acceptable under the new rule.
The new recordkeeping rule went into effect August 10, 2016, but OSHA has postponed any enforcement of the rule to November 1, 2016 to allow OSHA time to provide additional guidance on the impact of the rule, specifically on post-accident drug testing and safety incentive programs. Counties will also need to ensure they are prepared to comply with new electronic submission of OSHA 300 logs beginning in 2017. More information on how the electronic submission process will work is expected from OSHA in the coming months.
For those with more questions you can find more information online at OSHA’s recordkeeping page: https://www.osha.gov/recordkeeping/.
UCIP members can also get more information by attending the WCF Customer Safety seminar, OSHA 300 Log: Understanding the Requirements, which will be offered on December 8, 2016. Register online at www.wcf.com.
Statistics show that October, November & December are the peak months for deer related auto accidents. In 2015, Utah Counties Indemnity Pool Members experienced 29 Animal vs. Vehicle accidents resulting in nearly $120,000 in Property Damage, Deductibles Paid & Medical Expenses. Please take a moment to review some basic tips on how to prevent & minimize the risk of hitting deer on the roadways as well as helpful steps to take if you’re involved in a deer/auto accident.
Thank you to all who joined us at our annual Risk Management Workshop in Bryce Canyon. For those who would like to revisit any workshop topic or for those who weren’t able to join us, we have included a workshop breakdown with video & power point slideshows from each presentation. We have also included a link to email the presenter with any questions regarding material they covered.
Doug Handy-Promoting a Risk Management Mindset
Johnnie Miller–Third Party Considerations
Joe McKea-Impact of New State and Federal Regulations
Korby Siggard-Lessons Learned from Loss
Johnnie Miller-Understanding the Risks of Different Employee Types
Tom Chism-The Chemistry of Stress and Success in the Workplace
Jeremiah Riley-Use and Regulation of Drones by Local Government Entities
There are many posters that are required by state or federal law to be posted at your place of business. The Utah Labor Commission requires that employers post two notices: 1) Workers Compensation and 2) Occupational Safety and Health.
Visit: Utah Labor Commission, to download and print the required posters.
See a list of risk classifications and view the application here: TULIP
The FAA recently confirmed that drones are considered aircraft under their regulation. As a result, the standard exclusions to aircraft for liability and property coverage apply. UCIP has worked with their reinsurer to develop an endorsement to provide liability coverage and property protection for drones. For coverage to apply, drones must be scheduled with UCIP.
Coverage is limited to $3,000,000 per occurrence, and covers General Liability including Law Enforcement Personal Injury for violations of privacy rights. Attached is an application to have a drone listed on the UCIP Unmanned Aircraft Endorsement. Please complete the application and return it to UCIP with a copy of your FAA COA (Certificate of Authority) prior to use of a drone.
Please note: If the county is contracting with a third party, that is using a drone to conduct work for the county, be sure they: 1) are retaining the liability; 2) are agreeing to indemnify and defend the county for claims arising out of their work (including the use of the drone); and 3) have aircraft liability insurance. If this is the case, the county would not need to have coverage on the drone. If the county agrees to pay for damage to the drone, or to indemnify and defend the contractor for claims, the county will need to schedule the drone with UCIP to have coverage. A similar approach needs to be considered if a volunteer or employee uses their own drone for the benefit of the county. If these types of situations come up, contact UCIP.