News

Merry Christmas!

Our office will be closed at December 22nd at 3PM to celebrate the season with our families and friends. We’ll be back on December 26th at 8AM to assist you with anything you need. Have a wonderful and safe holiday!

 

New Guidance Expands OSHA’s Instance-by-Instance Citations

New guidance from OSHA will change the way that citations are issued. Starting March 25, 2023, the new policy will give area administrators and regional directors the ability to issue citations for each instance of a violation. OSHA’s previous enforcement policy allowed several “serious” or “other than serious” violations to be grouped together under a single citation. Let’s review exactly what all of this means for your business.  

How Instance-by-Instance Citations Will Expand 

Certain factors must be taken into consideration when issuing these citations, including: 

  • A willful, repeat, or failure to abate violation has been issued to the organization in the last 5 years. 
  • The organization has failed to report a fatality, inpatient hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye as required by 29 CFR 1904.39.  
  • The intended citations are connected to a fatality or catastrophe.  
  • If the intended recordkeeping citation is related to an injury or illness that is the result from a serious hazard.  

Instance-by-instance violations can be issued per machine, location, entry, or employee, or when the violation instances can’t be stopped by a single method. For example, if three different machines were seen to be unguarded and are considered a “serious violation” the area administrator or regional director has the authority to split all three machines into three separate violations with penalty amounts at their discretion. 

As a reminder, maximum penalty amounts by violation type: 

  • Willful or Repeat: $145,027 
  • Serious: $14,502 
  • Other than serious: $14,502 

The scope of this expanded guidance is limited to high-gravity serious violations specific to: 

  • Falls 
  • Trenching 
  • Machine guarding 
  • Respiratory protection 
  • Permit required confined space 
  • Lockout tagout 
  • Other-than-serious violations specific to recordkeeping 

The expansion will generally apply to General Industry, Agriculture, Maritime, and Construction industries, although isn’t limited to them.  

OSHA stated that instance-by-instance citations should be used to deter employers from continued violations of a standard, particularly for repeat offenders and organizations that clearly aren’t committed to protecting their workers from hazards.  

What Should You Do? 

Comply with all OSHA regulations and strive to keep your safety program up-to-date, employees trained, and address hazards and issues as quickly as possible whenever they arise.  

Organizations that have past histories of citations should take particular note of this new guidance and review their program, training, and any other policies and procedures.  

For any organizations not currently using software like KPA EHS or Vera Suite, KPA is here to help. Contact us today. 

Author: Emily Hartman / February 06, 2023

This article and many more resources are available to our clients through the Tedrick Group's Risk Management Center

OSHA Reporting Resources

Reporting season is here, have you posted your OSHA 300A Log? Do you need to electronically file Form 300A to OSHA?  If you have access to our Risk Management Center, be sure to watch this 14-minute video explaining OSHA reporting essentials and how to use Incident Track and the Risk Management Center to fill out your reports. Or be sure to check out this more detailed recorded webinar about OSHA Reporting & You.

If you would like to have access to our Risk Management Center, contact someone at the Tedrick Group for login credentials. The Risk Management Center has many very useful toos that can be available to you at no additional cost.. 

OSHA Reporting – Here’s What You Need To Know To Make Reporting Easy

https://www.kpa.io/blog/osha-reporting-heres-what-you-need-to-know-to-make-reporting-easy

When someone is killed or seriously injured in the workplace, the incident must be reported to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.

Most employers know this. And yet OSHA reporting requirements are sometimes ignored as other, more urgent matters take precedence. In the immediate aftermath of a workplace safety or health incident, rarely is anyone’s first thought, “we need to report this to OSHA.” Reporting, along with recordkeeping, can seem like an unimportant step or unnecessary paperwork—and get delayed or overlooked entirely as a result.

This is a grievous and costly mistake. If you don’t record and report incidents to OSHA on time, you could face significant expenses and penalties. The minimum fine for a single late or missing report is $5,000.

Moreover, if you neglect your OSHA reporting and recordkeeping duties, you put your workforce and bottom line at risk. Reporting to OSHA keeps your organization in compliance and gives you the information and visibility you need to improve workplace safety and minimize incidents.

Here’s what you need to know about OSHA reporting and OSHA recordkeeping: including what needs to be reported, the difference between OSHA reportable and OSHA recordable, exemptions from reporting and recordkeeping, and more.

Written

Read up on all of the deadlines and best practices in the
OSHA Reporting Resource Hub

What Are OSHA’s Reporting Requirements?

Employers with more than ten employees in most industries are required to keep records of occupational injuries and illnesses at their establishments. These records include…

  • OSHA 300: Log of work-related injuries and illnesses
  • OSHA 300A: Summary of work-related injuries and illnesses
  • OSHA 301: Injury and illness incident report

The OSHA electronic reporting rule

OSHA’s reporting requirements have recently changed and now entail electronic reporting. Establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records, as well as establishments with 20–249 employees that are classified in certain industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses, must electronically submit some information on an annual basis to OSHA. Moreover, organizations in regulated industries must submit 300A forms through OSHA’s Injury Tracking Application.

OSHA Reporting – Key Dates:

February 1: Workplace Posting Deadline

According to OSHA, “Each February through April, employers must post a summary of the injuries and illnesses recorded the previous year. Also, if requested, copies of the records must be provided to current and former employees, or their representatives. It must be posted in a location that is clearly visible to all employees and new applicants, and it must be kept posted until April 30. In addition, employees have the right to request a copy of the records at any time.”

March 2: Form 300A Data Electronic Submission Deadline

Submitted through the Injury Tracking Application. You don’t have to wait until the 2nd to submit your data. Collection begins on January 2nd.

Have more questions? We’ve got lots of answers…

 
 
What Is An OSHA Recordable Incident? And How Do You Report Them To OSHA?
 
 
What Are The Different OSHA Reporting Forms And What Are They Used For?
 
 
When Should I Report To OSHA?
 
 
Why Keep Workplace Injury Records?

Don’t let OSHA recordkeeping requirements take more time and energy than necessary.

KPA makes OSHA electronic reporting—and all elements of OSHA compliance and workforce health and safety—as easy as possible. Complete and file OSHA Forms 301, 300, and 300A quickly and accurately with KPA EHS Software.

Learn how we can save you time and money. Take a Test Drive >>

 
 
 
Wistia video thumbnail

Written by Toby Graham/January 04, 2023 Access the original article here.

Tedrick Group Recognized for Solar Installation


FROM LEFT, Andrew Verderber of Springfield Electric; Gener Eyre of Springfield Electric; Roger Tedrick, owner of the Tedrick Group; Chad Brandon, President and Certified Risk Architect of the Tedrick Group; Pam Allen, president of Clinton Electric and Owen Allen, vice president of Clinton Electric.

A ceremony was held Wednesday, February 27, 2019 to recognize the Tedrick Group for being the first commercial solar array system installed within the city.

Pam Allen, president of Clinton Electric based in Ina, said that February 4th was the date where the system got energized at the Tedrick Group.
"We are really recognizing two things today: the solar array being energized and the fact that the Tedrick Group is the first commercial solar array in the city of Mt. Vernon," Allen said, "That is really no surprise to me at all.  We are a customer of theirs and we have been with them for many years for our insurance."

Roger Tedrick, owner of the Tedrick Group, discussed the decision to have the solar array installed.
"We like to be on the cutting edge and the first one in the community to have solar on our building," Tedrick said.  "We think it is the right thing to do.  When we first approached it with Clinton Electric, we had that discussion and cost was a factor of course, there are tax credits."
"It's still a leap of faith.  You still have to feel like it is the right thing to do," Tedrick said.  "I hope it is a catalyst for other people to look into it and go down this path."

The total cost of the system was $70,369, with some tax credits helping to offset the cost.

Darren Volle, energy team leader of Springfield Electric, which has a branch office in Mt. Vernon, discussed their involvement with this project.
"Springfield Electric is a distributor of electrical equipment. We have a team that Andrew [Verderber] is a part of and he designed and engineered it," Velle said.  "That team goes around and puts together all of the bills and materials, the design of the system, consults with structural engineer on the roof to make sure it is structurally sound to hold the array.
"Then we go in and we apply for all the rebates, speak with the customer about the tax credits, what the payback is going to be," Volle said.  "That is what our team focuses on for the solar.  Then we partner with Clinton Electric, who does all the installation and who has the relationships with the customers."

The new system will require minimal maintenance, as Verderber shared some of the specifications of the panels that were installed on the roof of the Tedrick Group Building.  The size of their solar array is a 22.7-kilowatt system.
“They are 360-watt panels and there are 63 of them,” Verderber said.  “They are American made from Mission Solar out of Texas. So that was something that Tedrick and Clinton really liked about that panel, just the American made aspect.”

Allen commented on Clinton Electric’s relationship with the Tedrick Group.
“They are a leader in the insurance industry,” Allen said.  “They are on the cutting edge of what is going on in the insurance world.  They are a leader. They are not catching up, they are leading the way and it is not surprising that they are doing that with the solar array as well.”

Allen gave her reaction to Clinton Electric being the installer for the system for the Tedrick Group.
“We are really proud that we got to be the installer on their solar array, and as soon as we get some nice weather it will really start producing energy,” Allen said. “You will have about 62 percent of your energy needs supplied by this array.  That is the estimate with the type of system that was put in.  Over 25 to 30 years, the projection is that you will save a little over $100,000 on your electric bills.”

A plaque was presented to the Tedrick Group recognizing them for being the first commercial system array in the city, along with the date the system was energized.

Written by Josh Jones, Sentinel News Staff and published in the February 28, 2019 edition of the Mt. Vernon Sentinel

COVID-19 Relief Package (the American Rescue Plan Act)

Latest COVID Relief Package: What Businesses Need to Know

Emily Hartman / March 15, 2021

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act to support the American economy and provide $1.9 trillion in relief funds. We dug into the COVID relief bill and what businesses need to know and do.

FFCRA Tax Credits Continue

The Families First Coronavirus Rescue Plan Act (FFCRA) and the requirement employers provide emergency paid sick leave and emergency family and medical leave expired at the end of 2020. Around the same time the FFCRA ended, Congress passed an extension of the tax credit for employers who volunteered to provide emergency leave through March 31, 2021.

The American Response Act extends that tax credit to employers who opt to continue providing FFCRA leave from the end of March to September 30, 2021.

As a refresher, FFCRA-related emergency paid sick leave, and emergency paid family, and medical leave is provided for reasons including:

  • Acquiring an immunization/vaccination for COVID-19
  • Recovering from an illness, injury, disability, or injury related to the COVID-19 immunization
  • Waiting on test or diagnoses results for COVID-19

 

Additionally, there is a non-discrimination rule to ensure that employers consistently implement the leave.

Employers should also note that if they voluntarily provide sick leave, the American Rescue Act allows employers to voluntarily provide an additional ten days of FFCRA paid sick leave, starting April 1, 2021. This is not a requirement.

What Should Businesses Do?

  • Review your current sick leave and family and medical leave practices.
  • Consult with your legal counsel regarding state or local laws with paid sick leave requirements.
  • If you’re not already, determine if your business will want to voluntarily provide emergency paid sick leave to your employees.
  • Consult your legal counsel on how best to implement the leave in a consistent, uniform manner.
  • Continue to monitor for future updates about FFCRA leave through the Biden Administration.

 

Small Business Relief

Food and Beverage Businesses. The American Rescue Plan provides $25 billion to the Small Business Administration for a program targeted to support restaurants and other food and beverage businesses. The grants are available for up to $10 million and can be applied to payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities, and food and beverage expenses.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The Act provides $7 billion to the PPP to help small businesses with the possibility of 100% loan forgiveness. The bill also provides an expansion to certain nonprofit organizations, and some businesses may be eligible for a second loan from this program.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance Program. Businesses with less than 10 employees will be given priority. $15 billion in funds will be distributed to the EIDL Advance program to help businesses experiencing revenue losses resulting from COVID-19. Businesses could receive assistance to help cover financial and operating costs that would otherwise have been if not for the pandemic.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) Program. This assistance program, which will receive $15 billion in funding, is geared for businesses like live venues, theaters, performing arts centers, museums, etc. Those businesses that qualify for SVOG could also qualify for loans under the PPP.

What Should Employers Do?

  • Consult with your legal counsel to determine if your business may qualify for one of the above programs.

 

Unemployment Benefits

The American Rescue Plan Act extends and increases the previous unemployment benefits that were provided under the CARES Act and the previous stimulus package (expiring this month). There are a few provisions to note:

  • Unemployment benefits will remain at $300/week. The benefits are available until September 6, 2021.
  • The first $10,200 of unemployment received during 2020 will be untaxable for households that have an income of less than $150,000.
  • The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) has been extended for those who are self-employed or gig workers and might not otherwise receive state unemployment benefits.

 

What Should Employers Do?

  • Make a note of the September 6 end date and adjust your transition plans accordingly.

 

Multiemployer Union Penions

Under the American Rescue Plan Act, there are no surcharges for employer contributions, no employer PBGC premiums, and withdrawal penalties. Those multiemployer plans that are categorized as “critical and declining” will be given a lump sum by the U.S. Treasury to pay benefits through 2051. There are restrictions on how this money can be used, and the rules around this provision are subject to change.

What Should Employers Do?

  • If your business contributes to one of these plans, regularly request annual estimates of each plan’s withdrawal liability.

 

Other Tax Credits and Benefits

Employee Retention Credit (ERC)

The ERC has been extended through December 31, 2021, and expanded to include some start-up businesses that might not have previously qualified. Those particular businesses have an ERC capped at $50,000/quarter.

Child Tax Credit.

Individuals who earn more than $75,000 or joint returns of $150,000 or more are phased out of the law’s child tax credit. The credits are fully refundable, so those individuals or families who pay little to no tax can still take advantage of this credit either through monthly payment or lump sum.

The bill also temporarily increases the credit amount as follows:

  • Per child ages six through 17: $3,000
  • Per child under the age of six: $3,600

 

COBRA Premiums

The Act provides a 100% COBRA premium subsidy starting April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021, for employees that have been involuntarily terminated. Employers must send the subsidy along to the individual to pay for COBRA during this time.

There is a provision under the American Rescue Plan Act where terminated employees who doesn’t elect COBRA coverage by April 1, or elected for it and then discontinued it, may elect it again during a special enrollment period that starts on April 1 and ends 60 days after the COBRA notification date was sent.

The coverage could also end early for these individuals if they reach their maximum coverage period before September 2021 or become eligible for another group health plan or Medicare.

The Department of Labor will be publishing model notices within 30 days after the American Rescue Plan Act was enacted.

What Should Employers Do?

  • Review your current COBRA notification process and information.
  • Review and identify any individuals who had a qualifying event in 2020 and could be eligible and elect for COBRA during the subsidy period.
  • Consult with your legal counsel on your plan of action to identify these individuals, your notices, and procedures to ensure compliance with these changes.
  • By May 30, 2021, employers’ COBRA notices must include information about the subsidy and 60-day enrollment period for qualified individuals.
  • Whether as an amended or separate document the following information must be provided: the forms necessary to establish the individuals eligibility for COBRA premium assistance, name, address, phone number to contact the plan administrator, extended election period description, information about the option to enroll in different coverage.
  • A separate expiration notice must be sent to individuals when their premium assistance period will soon expire.
  • Notify individuals when their subsidy will end before September 30, 2021.
  • Monitor the DOL for the release of the Model Cobra Notice.

 

Vaccine Funding

Over $15 billion in the American Rescue Plan Act will go towards improving and expanding the distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine across the county. Initiatives to promote vaccination, increase access, development, manufacturing and more also fall within this effort.

What Should Employers Do?

  • There continue to be no workplace requirements regarding vaccinations.
  • Employers should review their current policies and procedures when it comes to a workforce that is partially vaccinated.
  • Seek your legal counsel to ensure that any changes you make to your policies are procedures that meet with federal, state, and local requirements.

 

Stimulus Payments

The federal government will be sending up to $1,400 in stimulus checks to individuals making less than $75,000 (or $150,000 for those filing jointly).

What is Not Included in the Relief Package

During much debate, a few provisions were eliminated from the final version of the legislation. It is worth noting what items don’t make the cut so that employers aren’t surprised if these issues come back to the forefront in future legislation.

  • $15 minimum wage
  • Phasing out tip credits were initially part of the legislation but were ultimately eliminated.

Emily Hartman, Marketing Manger at KPA
Latest COVID Relief Package: What Businesses Need to Know (kpa.io) 

The Tedrick Group Celebrates Lisa Champlin and her 20 Years of Service

The Tedrick Group office was closed October 1st from 12:00PM to 1:30PM in order to honor Lisa Kay Champlin and her 20 year anniversary with the Tedrick Group with a staff luncheon.  Congratulations and Thank You to Lisa for her long time of service!

COVID-19-Eight articles that contain answers to help you navigate the complexity of the issues.

Information regarding new law impacting Illinois Employers

New Law Prohibits Employers from Asking for Wage History
Pursuant to Public Act 101-0177 the Illinois Equal Pay Act now bans employers and employment agencies from asking about applicants’ past wage and compensation histories. This law takes effect on September 29, 2019. Employers can be penalized for asking the applicant or the applicant’s current or former employers for wage or salary history. If they have not yet done so, employers should review their employment applications to make sure they do not ask for salary and wage history. They should also train those involved in hiring on the new law. For more information you may contact the Illinois Department of Labor at the Equal Pay Hotline 866-372-4365.

Frequently Asked Questions on Wage History Ban

  1. Can employers ask for salary history or use salary history when determining whether to offer a job or when determining how much to pay the job applicant?
    No. It is unlawful for an employer to request or require a wage or salary history from a job applicant as a condition of being considered for employment or as a condition of employment.
  2. Can employers ask about employment benefits that have been provided in the past to a job applicant during the application process?
     No. It is also unlawful for an employer to request or require a job applicant to disclose benefits or other compensation received at any current or former employer as a condition of being considered for employment or as a condition of employment.
  3. Who is covered by the law?
    Illinois job applicants. This includes applicants to part-time and full-time positions, temporary or permanent, whether hourly or salary. The law however does not cover independent contractors.
  4. Can employers use recruiters to determine applicants' salary histories?
    No. Recruiters, employment agencies, staffing agency or any other agent of an employer may not screen applicants based on their current or prior wages or salary histories, benefits or other compensation.
  5. Can an employer ask a current or former employer of the job applicant for the applicant’s wage history?
    No. It is unlawful for an employer or their agent to ask for a wage or salary history, benefits or other compensation from an applicant’s employer or former employers when conducting verification or reference checks.
  6. What if the employee already works for the company where he or she is applying?
    The prohibition does not apply if a job applicant’s salary history is a matter of public record or if the applicant is a current employee applying with the same employer.
  7. Can an employer prohibit employees from discussing their salaries?
    No. An employer cannot prohibit its employees from disclosing their own salaries, benefits or other compensation to other individuals.
  8. Can job applicants volunteer salary history information?
     Yes. Applicants may voluntarily disclose their prior wage or salary history including benefits or other compensation. The employer shall not consider or rely on the voluntary disclosures as a factor in determining whether to offer a job applicant employment, in making an offer of compensation, or determining future wages, salary or benefits.
  9. Can employers provide a salary range to an applicant or discuss with an applicant their salary and benefits expectations?
    Yes. An employer can provide information about the wages, benefits, compensation, or salary offered in relation to a position. The employer can also engage in discussions with an applicant about the applicant’s expectations with respect to wage or salary or benefits.
  10. Who do I contact if I have questions about the new law?
    You should call the Illinois Department of Labor at the Equal Pay Hotline 866-372-4365

https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/News/Documents/DOL%20Wage%20History%20Release.pdf

 

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