April 26, 2021
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2021 OCA State of the Association Program

Register Now for the OCA 2021 State of the Association program, scheduled for Thursday, May 6. The program will be virtual and there is no charge to participate.

State of the Association 2021 will include a panel of senior OCA staff and volunteer leaders, moderated by the Board Chair, Brad Miller of Miller Bros. Const., Inc. The program will include a broad overview of key association goals, along with information about action being taken on current OCA initiatives.

Expect to hear about how OCA is working on the membership's behalf in areas of:
* Legislative & Environmental Affairs
* Labor & Employment Law
* Public Agencies including ODOT
* Workforce Awareness

Plan to participate and support your Association and 2021 Board Chair, Brad Miller of Miller Bros. Const., Inc.
      VIRTUAL PROGRAM

           Register Now!


When: Thursday, May 6

Time: 1:00 p.m.

Register: Click here to register

Cost: No Charge

All participants will receive an email closer to the event date with information on how to access the virtual session link.

Any questions about this program, please feel free to contact LuAnn Weethee at OCA 614-488-0724 or email her at
lweethee@ohiocontractors.org.


News

National Work Zone Awareness Week - April 26-30, 2021

National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season which encourages safe driving through highway work zones. The key message is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones. This year’s event begins today, April 26 and runs through Friday, April 30, and carries the theme, “Drive Safe – Work Safe – Save Lives.”

OCA and other industry representatives will be participating in a media event at the Ohio Statehouse on Monday morning to kick off the week and encourage the public to slow down and pay close attention when driving through our work zones.

National Go Orange Day, designated to help raise work zone safety awareness, celebrates its sixth year on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. The event has become a staple of NWZAW and is a time for individuals and organizations across the country to express their support for work zone safety by wearing orange. To stop work zone crashes, this nationwide effort was first introduced by the FHWA as a new component of NWZAW in 2016. ATSSA has since organized and sponsored a social media campaign as part of its contribution to the effort. In 2016 about 100 organizations, including ATSSA members, from across the country posted images of various Go Orange Day efforts. ATSSA’s 2018 campaign demonstrated a global reach, with organizations from across the United States mentioning @ATSSAHQ on Twitter or @ATSSATraffic on Facebook and using #Orange4Safety in their social media posts and interactions.

We encourage OCA members to participate in the weeks events and campaigns to spread the word about saving lives in our work zones. Click HERE for more information and resources about National Work Zone Awareness Week.


DOL Issues Guidance to Stem Unemployment ID Theft, as Many See Rise in Fraudulent Claims

OCA members should be aware that fraudulent unemployment claims are on the rise. While this has been a problem throughout the pandemic and while the construction industry is not a unique target, many have reported experiencing such claims and some have reported a spike in recent weeks.

The problem has spread across the country. States – which are largely overwhelmed with both legitimate and illegitimate unemployment claims due to the pandemic – are each responding in their own ways, but the federal government has also taken some action. On April 14, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued new guidance to states on identity verification for unemployment insurance claims. DOL said that the guidance “will help states find and stop payments on claims based on stolen or fake identities and help unemployed workers who have been falsely flagged as possibly fraudulent” and that it “also explains what states can do to protect those victims who may have had their identities previously stolen and then used by criminals to apply for unemployment insurance benefits.” Three weeks earlier, DOL launched a new website to assist such victims. The website explains how to determine if you are a victim of unemployment identity theft and how to report such identity theft. A Spanish translation of the website is also available. Last July, the FBI also issued an alert.

OCA members may want to inform their employees of the possibility of unemployment identity theft and provide a link to the DOL website for victims. An article published by the law firm Baker Donelson offers additional tips for employers that members might find useful.

OCA will keep an eye on this issue and provide info about any significant developments that may affect our members.


IRS Issues Guidance on Vaccine Paid Leave Tax Credits

The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department have announced (April 21, 2021) further details of tax credits available under the American Rescue Plan to help small businesses, including providing paid leave for employees receiving COVID-19 vaccinations.

The additional details, provided in a fact sheet released, spell out some basic facts about the employers eligible for the tax credits. It also provides information on how these employers may claim the credit for leave paid to employees related to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Eligible employers, such as businesses and tax-exempt organizations with fewer than 500 employees and certain governmental employers, can receive a tax credit for providing paid time off for each employee receiving the vaccine and for any time needed to recover from the vaccine. For example, if an eligible employer offers employees a paid day off to get vaccinated, the employer can receive a tax credit equal to the wages paid to employees for that day (up to certain limits).

“This new information is a shot in the arm for struggling small employers who are working hard to keep their businesses going while also watching out for the health of their employees,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “Our work on this issue is part of a larger effort by the IRS to assist the nation recover from the pandemic.”

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) allows small and midsize employers, and certain governmental employers, to claim refundable tax credits that reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave to their employees due to COVID-19, including leave taken by employees to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations. Self-employed individuals are eligible for similar tax credits.

The ARP tax credits are available to eligible employers that pay sick and family leave for leave from April 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2021.

The paid leave credits under the ARP are tax credits against the employer’s share of the Medicare tax. The tax credits are refundable, which means that the employer is entitled to payment of the full amount of the credits if it exceeds the employer’s share of the Medicare tax.

In anticipation of claiming the credits on the Form 941, Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, eligible employers can keep the federal employment taxes that they otherwise would have deposited, including federal income tax withheld from employees, the employees’ share of social security and Medicare taxes and the eligible employer’s share of social security and Medicare taxes with respect to all employees up to the amount of credit for which they are eligible. If the eligible employer does not have enough federal employment taxes on deposit to cover the amount of the anticipated credits, the eligible employer may request an advance by filing Form 7200, Advance Payment of Employer Credits Due to COVID-19.

Self-employed individuals may claim comparable credits on the Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

More details are available on this fact sheet.


Upcoming Safety WebEds Presented by: AGC of America

Free to OCA/AGC Members

Fall Protection Compliance

May 3, 2021 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

 
 This presentation will cover how to work safely at heights, meet OSHA regulations and prevent the leading cause of death in the construction industry. We will also review the application of various fall arrest systems and how to apply them to ensure our workers can return home safely.
Register Today

OSHA/AGC National Falls Stand-Down Event

May 5, 2021 - 1:30pm to 2:30pm

Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 320 of the 1,008 construction fatalities recorded in 2018 (BLS data). The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries.

Join representatives from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) to kick-off the 2021 National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction. During the session, you will hear remarks from the leaders of OSHA and AGC highlighting the importance of preventing falls in construction as well as contractor members who were recipients of the 2020 AGC/Autodesk Safety Harness Grant to address the need for better-fitting personal protective equipment (PPE) for women who work at heights.

 Register Today

WebEd: Total Worker Health - Real World

Culture Building to Improve Worker Safety and Health

May 6, 2021 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Work and life regularly can routinely collide for many workers. Work in construction can be especially challenging at times for workers, managers, and owners. The new challenges of a rapidly changing economy combine with old hazards like injury risk, long work hours, workplace stress, and off-the-job obligations for an unhealthy mix. A strategic plan for culture building is a requirement if your business wants to attract, retain and support the healthiest, most engaged workforce. What does the latest population health science say about optimizing work and work design for better health outcomes and improved bottom lines? Can we translate this research into policies and practices so work can actually “work” for all of us? And how can we address some of the most urgent threats in our industry – like substance misuse and rising suicide rates? This is the critical, must-see session for workable strategies and real-world solutions from NIOSH.
Register Today
 Everyone who registers for an AGC WebEd will receive a link with access to the recording and the presentation.

Worksite Traffic Supervisor (WTS) Prequalification Testing

On behalf of ODOT’s Division of Construction Management and Office of Roadway Engineering, registration is now open for the following sessions of Worksite Traffic Supervisor (WTS) Prequalification Testing.

          • April 28 – Morning       » Click here to register.
          • April 28 – Afternoon    » Click here to register.


Click here to access the PDF flyer.
Prerequisites – Do not register for WTS Prequalification testing until the prerequisites have been completed. Please see the online registration form and flyer for details.

Pre-registration is required for WTS Testing. Seating capacity is limited for each session, based on social distancing requirements due to COVID-19. Please review the important updates and safety protocols as described per the links above.

Order Your Overhead Warning Devices Now on OCA Website

The distribution and utilization of the Overhead Hazard Warning Devices (OHWD) developed by OCA’s Safety Committee and funded by Ohio LECET has been a huge success. OCA members are utilizing the devices throughout the state and reports coming into OCA are extremely positive.

Due to the popularity and demand for the OHWD, OCA will be ordering additional units from the manufacturer. The order will again be funded by Ohio LECET, and units will be available to OCA members.

Please utilize the following link to the OCA website that will allow OCA members to register and pre-order additional units of the OHWD. The cutoff date for pre-orders will be May 1, 2021 to notify the manufacturer and get the units delivered asap.

Please click here to pre-order your Overhead Hazard Warning Devices for the 2021 construction season.  

If you have any questions, please contact Kim Dillon or Mark Potnick in the OCA office.
                     

Quick Links to On-line OCA Resources

•   Current Ohio Contractor Magazine
•   Safety Resources
•   Labor & Employment Information
•   OCA President's Commentary
 



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