Act 57 of 2021 will help encourage prescription drug addiction education and awareness within the workforce by utilizing certified safety committees. To help Pennsylvania employers comply with the law, the Department of Labor & Industry recently released new information to help employers maximize the benefit of this expanded program.
Since 1994, employers have had the option to establish certified safety committees and qualify for a discount on their workers’ compensation insurance rate. According to L&I, more than 11,500 Pennsylvania employers have already done so, saving over $645 million in insurance premiums.
The Safety Committees promote emergency preparedness and safety in the workplace and help facilitate coordination among employees and management. The new law expands the assistance these committees provide and directs them to educate workers on the risk of prescription drug abuse and opioid addiction, which remains an ongoing crisis across the Commonwealth.
This new requirement takes effect on Oct. 28, 2021, and L&I is providing additional information to help employers achieve full compliance, including this overview and a new Opioid Addiction PowerPoint presentation. More on the safety committee certification process, including application and renewal information, is available here.