Dayton home remodeler sentenced for workers’ comp fraud

Ohio BWC secures three fraud convictions in July

The owner of a residential construction business in Dayton who under reported his payroll by millions of dollars to lower his workers’ comp premiums is among three Ohioans convicted last month for workers’ compensation fraud, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) reported Friday.

Honorato Camacho, owner of Field Construction LLC, pleaded guilty to a fifth-degree felony count of workers’ compensation fraud on July 12. Acting on a tip, BWC investigators found Camacho had deliberately under reported his payroll by more than $3.5 million from 2013 to 2015.

“Mr. Camacho’s scheme saved him more than $300,000 in premiums, but look what it cost him in the end — he still owes us for the premiums and now he has a felony criminal record on top of it,” said Jim Wernecke, director of BWC’s special investigations department.

Judge Mary Wiseman in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas ordered Camacho to pay BWC $255,434 in restitution, the balance owed after repayments he made prior to sentencing. She also sentenced Camacho to five years’ community control.

In other July convictions:

An Akron pain specialist agreed to reimburse BWC $33,035 and stop seeing injured workers in the BWC system after pleading guilty to a fifth-degree felony count of workers’ compensation fraud. Acting on a tip from a former patient, BWC investigators found Dr. William Midian falsified patient records so he could bill the agency for services he did not render.

Arthur J. Brinkerhoff of Newcomerstown, Ohio, pleaded guilty July 25 in Franklin County to one misdemeanor count of workers’ compensation fraud after a tipster alleged he was working as a truck driver while receiving BWC benefits. Brinkerhoff was sentenced to one day in jail with credit for time served. He paid BWC $2,034 in court-ordered restitution.

To report suspected workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov.

Our “safety things we did this summer” report

By Erik Harden, BWC Public Information Officer

Kids will soon be going back to school and writing essays about the things they did this summer. It’s a fun way for them to recap some of the highlights of those long summer days before jumping into the grind of the new school year. We thought we’d do the same in this post!

We’ll start with the past few weeks and our time at the Ohio State Fair. For the second year in a row, we had a booth in the Bricker Marketplace to highlight safety at work and at home. We got the message out about our Be Safe Ohio campaign to thousands of fairgoers in the booth and with our sponsorship of the iconic Sky Glider. We even handed out bottles of water and Beat the Heat cards to attendees as they were leaving the fair on one of the days.

Fairgoers of all ages were excited to stop by our booth to try their hand at Safety Plinko. Children were especially eager to play for safety prizes, including fans, earplugs and the always popular colorful safety glasses. In less than two weeks, our representatives handed out hundreds of informational pamphlets and thousands of safety giveaways to everyone from preschoolers to grandparents.

Once again, the state fair was a great opportunity for us to reach the public and educate Ohioans on ways to protect themselves on and off the clock.

Safety Day at the Zoo
Earlier this summer, we participated in Safety Day at the Zoo at the Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo. The event – organized by the Greater Cleveland Safety Council – gave us the chance to get our message of safety and wellness out to zoo visitors. It was a picture-perfect day and we got to interact with hundreds of parents and children, giving them tips on staying safe and healthy.

Trench Safety Stand-Down
In late June, we hosted or participated in several trenching safety training events in conjunction with the National Utility Contractors Association’s 2018 Trench Safety Stand-Down. This included training events in Erie County, Toledo, Cincinnati and Summit County.

The Summit County event provided classroom training followed up with a review of the information covered in the class while conducting digging of a trench and installing a trench box.

National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls
We kicked off the summer with training opportunities during the National Safety Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in May. Our fall prevention training included events at:

  • Our Ohio Center for Occupational Safety and Health in Pickerington.
  • At Boak & Sons in the Youngstown area.
  • Our Garfield Heights Customer Service Office.

Events like these are critical for stemming the tide of falls in the workplace. Nearly 30 percent of all claims filed with BWC are from fall injuries, and falls in Ohio result in an average of 14 fatalities a year.

Thanks to everyone who attended our trainings or who stopped by to see us at various stops this summer. We got a lot out of these interactions and we hope you did too!

Akron pain doc guilty of workers’ comp fraud

False billing cited in felony case

An Akron pain specialist has agreed to reimburse the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation more than $33,000 and stop seeing injured workers in the BWC system after pleading guilty to a fifth-degree felony count of workers’ compensation fraud July 26.

Acting on a tip from a former patient, BWC investigators found Dr. William Midian, 71, provided inadequate care and falsified patient records so he could bill the agency for services he did not render.

“Our investigation revealed that on several occasions in 2016, the doctor billed our agency for services we know he didn’t provide,” said Jim Wernecke, director of BWC’s special investigations department. “In addition, we found the quality of his care lacking. It certainly wasn’t at the level our injured workers expect and deserve.”

Appearing in a Franklin County courtroom, Midian agreed to reimburse BWC $33,035 for payments he improperly received and the cost of the investigation. He also agreed to withdraw from BWC’s network of approved health care providers.

To report suspected workers’ compensation fraud, call 1-800-644-6292 or visit bwc.ohio.gov.

Your workplace safety innovation could be a winner!

By Erik Harden, BWC Public Information Officer

Has your organization developed a new piece of equipment, tool or process to reduce risk to your workforce? Have you made changes to an existing method to improve safety and health in your workplace?  If so, you could earn a cash prize for your ingenuity by applying for a BWC Safety Innovation Award.

The application period for our 2019 Safety Innovation Awards is now open! We’re seeking innovative and creative solutions that reduce risk, create cost savings, and that have potential application to other workplaces, industries or operations.

If you are an Ohio employer – or know one – that has taken an innovative step to reduce risk of injury or illness, check out the award criteria and application.

We’re accepting applications until Sept. 30, 2018. Finalists will receive cash awards, ranging from $1,000 to $6,000 and statewide recognition at the Ohio Safety Congress & Expo in Columbus March 6 to 8, 2019.

Last year’s finalists included innovations such as a remote-controlled vacuuming system for cleaning clarifier tanks and an articulating arm that assists workers when doing weld tear-downs on truck cabs. You can check out descriptions and videos of all the 2018 finalists’ innovations.

We hope the past finalists and their ideas will inspire you to apply for the 2019 awards. If you have any questions about the program, email bwcsafetyinnovations@bwc.state.oh.us or call 1-800-644-6292.

We look forward to seeing your innovative approaches to eliminating workplace risks and hazards!

We’re back at the Ohio State Fair!

Stop by our booth for safety tips from BWC’s guardian angels   

By Erik Harden, BWC Public Information Officer

Hello from the 2018 Ohio State Fair! Being at the fair last year was so great that we decided to come back this year.

We’re back in the Bricker Marketplace – booth 02 to be exact – highlighting our Be Safe Ohio campaign.

With Day 1 in the books, we’re already having a great time meeting fairgoers of all ages to share our message of being safe at work and at home.

During the next few weeks, we’ll bring awareness of common hazards – including overexertion, slips trips and falls, and driving safety – to attendees and give them info to make their homes and workplaces safer. Attendees will also be able to sign up for our health and wellness program, Better You, Better Ohio! while they’re there.

To help you get there, we’re giving away a limited number of fair admission tickets and a few remaining concert tickets. Find out how to win your free tickets.

When you’re at the fair, stop by and say hello. Come play a round of Safety Plinko and get safety tips from BWC’s guardian angels. And while you’re strolling the midway, look up at the SkyGlider, branded with our safety campaign messaging.

Once again, we’re honored to be part of this traditionally significant event for Ohioans and one of the largest state fairs in the nation.

We hope to see you there!

OSC19 Call for Presenters: Diversity and Inclusion Track

By Carolina Thatcher, BWC Inclusion and Diversity Director

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is accepting presentation proposals for the Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) track of the nation’s largest occupational-focused safety and health event, March 6 to 8, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio. Our Ohio Safety Congress & Expo (OSC19) helps businesses keep their workforce safe, healthy and productive. Guest presenters from various states and more than 200 exhibitors share their knowledge and resources at this free event.

Audience
The D&I track attracts managers, organizational leaders, human resources professionals, D&I practitioners, attorneys, employers, and others interested in D&I, talent management, and employee engagement strategies.

Session Format
OSC19 offers more than 200 educational presentations with continuing education credits for a variety of professions. For the D&I track, we are seeking:

  • One-hour educational sessions, panel discussions and live demonstrations.
  • Three-hour workshops.

Target Audience
Selection committees may give additional consideration to proposals that meet the recommendations below.

  • The topic conveys practical applications of D&I knowledge for human resources and legal professionals.
  • Session content is appropriate for individuals in the field who are looking to develop or implement strategies to create an organizational culture of diversity and inclusion in the private or public sector.

Session Policies
Proposals shall not consist of more than five speakers, including a moderator. For multiple speakers, each speaker must agree to the terms of this submission.

  1. We do not accept sales presentations. Your proposal must be educational and free from commercial content.
  2. Your material should be original; otherwise, you must reference sources.
  3. We do not provide honorarium for concurrent sessions. Speakers are responsible for accommodations and all travel-related expenses.

Selection Criteria
The selection committee will consider numerous factors including, but not limited to, the criteria below.

  • Proposals contain proper sentence structure and correct spelling.
  • Session content is clearly organized, current, practical or innovative.
  • Session descriptions are substantive and explain the relevancy of the topic.
  • Session skill level is appropriate for the topic and targeted audience.

Please write clear learning objectives to complete the sentence “Participants will be able to…” Use action verbs such as define, describe, distinguish, explain, identify, list, recall, recognize, select and summarize.

Selection Timeline
Aug. 10, 2018  Proposal submission deadline
Oct. 31, 2018   We notify selected submitters

Commitment
If we select your proposal, we ask that you present the session at the designated date, time and location, and meet the deliverable deadlines we provide. The time-sensitive deliverables include, but are not limited to, the presenter logging on to the OSC19 Speaker Service Center, submitting audio-visual requirements and uploading session handout materials, etc. If emergency circumstances prevent you from fulfilling your commitment, we ask that you immediately notify us of the comparable subject-matter expert presenting on your behalf.

Ready to Submit?
If you have a topic for an OSC19 presentation that meets the above guidelines, we would love to hear from you. Please send your proposal via email to Diversity@bwc.state.oh.us.

Ohio State Fair tickets up for grabs!

We’re a proud sponsor of the 2018 Ohio State Fair

You may have noticed we’re running a safety campaign! There are commercials, online messages, YouTube videos and more – all in an effort to reach Ohioans to help keep them safe.

We know that slips, trips, falls, overexertions and driving-related accidents in Ohio make up approximately 60 percent of all serious BWC claims each year.

BeSafeOhio.com is a new website with all kinds of good information to help prevent these kinds of accidents. Whether at work or at home, we want people to think about how they are in control of their own safety and are the first line of defense to prevent injuries that would cause them to miss work or disrupt their normal day-to-day lives.

We are teaming up with the Ohio State Fair to raise awareness about BeSafeOhio.com, and we need your help!

As part of our partnership with the Ohio State Fair, we received a number of admission tickets and a variety of concert tickets.

Help us spread the word about BeSafeOhio.com and you could win some of these tickets.

Here’s how to win!

  1. Follow us on Twitter @OhioBWC so we can direct message you for contact info. (If you don’t have a Twitter account, it’s easy to create one – all you need is an email address and a password).
  2. Look for our tweet about BeSafeOhio.com, starting on July 17. It will include this message: “Ohio State Fair tickets up for grabs! See details, follow us and retweet! https://t.co/zo9uoqitDg #Ohio #giveaway”
  3. Retweet that message to your followers and you could win.

Note: Please check your settings under “privacy and safety” so you can “receive direct messages from anyone.”

The first 50 to retweet will receive a four-pack of admission tickets.

The next 50 to retweet will receive a two-pack of admission tickets.

We’ll keep an eye on retweets and if you’re one of the winners, we’ll contact you privately from @OhioBWC via Twitter direct messaging for your name and mailing address. Winners will be identified using the Twitter date/time stamp.

We also have concert tickets to State Fair entertainment: Reba McEntire, Lee Brice, Styx/Cheap Trick, and Kidz Bop Live. Look out for the tweet promoting those at 1 p.m. Monday, July 23. It will have the message: “Ohio State Fair concert tickets up for grabs! See details, follow us and retweet! #Ohio #giveaway.” There are only five sets of four tickets for those so retweet fast! Again, we’ll direct message winners to see which tickets they’d like, in the order in which they retweeted.

Organizations that do business with BWC, such as third-party administrators, group-rating sponsors, safety council sponsors and managed care organizations aren’t eligible to win. But your non-employee followers are eligible, so make sure to retweet so they benefit. Also, BWC employees and family members are not eligible to participate. Limit one set of fair tickets or one set of concert tickets per Twitter account.

Thank you for helping us raise awareness about safety at home and in the workplace! And, whether you win or not, please stop by our booth in the Marketplace building to see and hear our safety campaign messages first-hand. We look forward to seeing you at the Ohio State Fair.

For safety campaign tips and resources, please visit www.BeSafeOhio.com.