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Tennessee OSHA & Workers’ Comp Join Forces to Educate Employers on New Reform Bill

Monday, July 15, 2013 | 06:52am


NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development announces a series of seminars across the state explaining the Workers’ Compensation Reform Act of 2013. The Workers’ Compensation division and TOSHA will team up with the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce to deliver these seminars to educate and inform employers about the impact of the bill, including ways to avoid workplace injuries and to better handle them if they occur.

The information shared will be valuable to business owners, managers, HR professionals, and anyone involved in the administration of workers’ compensation claims.

“Working to lower workers’ comp premiums is a key tool in helping bring new employers to Tennessee,” said Abbie Hudgens, Workers’ Compensation Administrator. “We want to do everything we can to encourage new employers to start their businesses in Tennessee.”

The goals of the bill are to design a system that is fair to both employees and employers in terms of benefits, to speed up the settling of claims, to make the system easier to understand for injured workers, and to lower workers’ compensation insurance premiums. 

Key parts of the bill include:

  • Making outcomes more predictable by creating workers’ compensation judges 
  • Increasing the number of weeks for disability benefits from 400 to 450 
  • Placing a greater emphasis on mediation 
  • Creating neutral ombudsmen to assist unrepresented workers in filing forms and preparing for mediation 

TOSHA will be available to promote the Volunteer STAR Program (VPP) recognizing employer safety and health programming and performance. Participants in the TOSHA's Volunteer Protection Program have a reported injury and illness rate 80% below the national average. The principles these VPP sites implement can be replicated at any worksite.

"TOSHA and Workers' Compensation agree the best way to reduce costs is to maintain a safe and healthful workplace by eliminating or controlling workplace hazards,” said TOSHA Administrator Steve Hawkins.

Below is a list of the upcoming seminars across the state.




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