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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 6, 2021 01:28 PM
From: Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Incorporating Risks of Opioid Use into Workers’ Compensation Safety Committee Requirements
In the near future, I plan to reintroduce my legislation from last session, SB594.  This legislation will require employers who have a certified safety committee as part of their workers’ compensation program to include information about the risks associated with the use of opioids.
Currently, the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law allows employers to receive a discount of five-percent on their workers’ compensation insurance premium if they establish a certified safety committee within their workplace.  Safety committees are to be developed for the purpose of hazard detection and accident protection.  An employer must provide annual verification to the Department of Labor and Industry that the safety committee continues to be operative and meets the outlined certification requirements.
Under my legislation, an employer would need to incorporate material to employees on the risks associated with the use of opioids as part of their safety committee to be certified and receive the rate discount.  We must continue to be vigilant in addressing our serious heroin and opioid epidemic from all angles using a multi-faceted approach.  I see this small step to incentivize employers to educate their workforce as another tool in the toolbox to end this serious crisis.

Previous co-sponsors to this legislation were:  Mensch, Stefano, J. Ward and Browne.  In addition, Senate Bill 594 passed the Senate unanimously on May 27, 2020. 
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation to further combat our heroin and opioid epidemic.

Introduced as SB147