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What's the process for renewing my committee's certification? The renewal process is simple and fairly automatic!

With amendments signed into law on Dec. 9, 2002, the Workers' Compensation Law allows annual renewal of the certification of an employers' workplace safety committee, IF the committee continues to operate AND continues to meet all of the requirements upon which initial certification was based. Certification renewal entitles an employer to a 5% workers' compensation premium discount for the annual policy period next following receipt of certification. All employers are encouraged to utilize the online filing system "HandS" to submit a certification renewal application. For more information about "HandS" or to create a user account, log onto the "HandS" web page at, PA Keyword "HandS." For assistance, the Health and Safety Division can be contacted directly by emailing or by calling 717-772-1635.


How do I obtain a Certification Renewal application?

Certification Renewal Applications will be automatically computer generated and sent electronically to the "HandS" user accounts of all designated employer contacts through the "HandS" online system. Employers choosing not to file electronically through "HandS" will have renewals emailed to designated contacts.

When will renewal applications be available?

Forms will be sent to the "HandS" user accounts for all employers approximately 105 days prior to the annual workers' compensation policy renewal period or annual fund year. Policyholders choosing not to utilize the "HandS" online filing system will have renewals emailed approximately 60-90 days before their workers' compensation policy renewal date and emailed to self-insured and group self-insurance fund members approximately 60-90 days before the start of their annual fiscal year or annual fund year.

What if I don't get a renewal application?

Be sure to check your "HandS" electronic user account frequently. If your mailing address, designated contact, company name or other key information has changed, and you haven't notified the bureau, your renewal form may have been misdirected. While redelivery attempts are made for returned hardcopy mail, few of these are successful. Employers should (a) notify the bureau in writing when key information changes to ensure proper form routing, and (b) contact the bureau's Health and Safety Division at least 30 working days before their policy renewal date so that another form can be prepared and sent. Remember, according to the law, renewal applications MUST be submitted between 90 and 15 calendar days prior to the annual policy or self-insurance renewal dates. Renewal Applications submitted outside these time limits may be returned.

What information will be included on the renewal application?

Applications will include the following pre-populated information: name, address, contact person, union data, workplace location and safety committee data. This information is taken from the most recent certification approval. Employers are required to make any necessary corrections or changes and to complete any missing information. Workers' Compensation policy information will not be pre-populated and must be completed prior to submitting the renewal application. An "Acknowledgment and Agreements" page must be completed when submitting the document.

Is completing and returning the renewal application all I need to do?

Yes. However, if since the latest certification approval, an employer has added workplaces, the Section 1 question pertaining to addition of workplaces must be populated "yes" and, Section 2, number of workplaces must be updated. Additionally, if any additional safety committees have been established that have not previously been certified, this must be indicated in Section 1, and completion of Sections 6-11 of the initial "Application for Certification of Workplace Safety Committee" is required for each new committee. Additional Sections 6-11 should be submitted along with the completed renewal application for review. All committees must be approved to be eligible for the discount.

If my renewal application is approved, who will be notified?

Employers will be notified by email that their renewal application has been approved. Employers opting for electronic notification will receive an approval letter sent to their "HandS" user accounts. If the employer is insured, it is their responsibility to provide a copy of the notification to their insurer. For each employer whose certification renewal is approved, the Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau (PCRB) will also be notified. It is the responsibility of the insurer and PCRB to calculate and apply the discount. If the employer is a member of a group self-insurance fund which has approved discounts in annual member contributions, it is the responsibility of the group self-insurance fund member to notify the fund administrator of the certification renewal approval.

What happens if my renewal application is not approved?

Applicants will receive email notification if their renewal application is disapproved. The notification will provide a detailed list of specific reason(s) for disapproval. If these deficiencies can be remedied through, for example, the submission of acceptable documentation, prior to the date identified on the detailed disapproval reason document, the renewal application can be approved. Employers opting for electronic notification will have a disapproval notification sent to their user account and will be able to view disapprovals and submit revisions online within the specified time parameters.

If you have any further questions concerning the certification renewal application or the "HandS" online filing system, please contact the Certification and Education Section by email at: or by telephone at 717-772-1635.