Question of the Day: New Requirements for Act 57 of Workers’ Compensation Act

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Q: On June 30, 2021, Act 57 of the PA Workers’ Compensation Act was passed, requiring safety committee members to receive training on substance abuse and opioid painkiller use in order to be certified. If my organization has a certified safety committee, what are the training requirements for its members?

In addition to the current topics required annually (Safety Committee Dynamics, Hazard Identification, Accident Investigation including Substance Abuse Awareness), committee members must be trained on Substance Abuse and Opioid Painkiller Use.

A: Committees seeking Pennsylvania certification will need to show compliance with this standard by Thursday, October 28, 2021. The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s Health & Safety Division has training materials and other necessary documents for this update. The certification applications will include the additional training component as of the October 28th implementation date. 

Committees that have already submitted or will submit applications before the change goes into effect do not need to update their training prior to October 28, 2021, to obtain certification. However, committees must guarantee that their next round of annual training includes the substance abuse & opioid painkiller use component. 

 Committees that won’t be filing an application for the current period until after October 28 and have not yet received annual training will need to guarantee that members receive training on all relevant topics during the current policy period. If the committee receives training through the PATHS program, that training will meet the new requirement

Committees that have already completed their annual training but are not due to submit an application until after October 28, 2021, will need to obtain training on the additional topic to be considered eligible for certification. 

Members may retake the entire annual training or may attend an abbreviated session on just the new topic. The PATHS program will present the new materials separately on several occasions to help committees meet this requirement during the transition. 

For more information on PATHS training schedules and mini sessions, visit the PATHS website here.

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