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Columbus Workers' Compensation Law Blog

Don't let your employer fool you, you have rights to compensation

If you're like a lot of our more frequent readers and have been injured while on the job, then chances are you were also filled with a sense of fear when it happened. Not only were you probably afraid of how you'd be able to pay your medical expenses and other bills if you had to leave work to recover, you might have also been concerned that you might lose your job as well.

For some people, this fear stems from conversations they've had with their employers about reporting workplace injuries. Despite our state's laws, there are still some employers here in Ohio that take advantage of their employees and try to convince them that it's wrong or even illegal to report a work-related injury. We'd like to point out once again to our readers though that you do have rights to compensation.

What are some examples of permanent total disability?

If you're like a lot of our regular readers, then you probably have a lot of questions about the workers' compensation system and your right to benefits after suffering a work-related injury. But just like our other readers, you might not know how to classify your condition.

Are you temporarily disabled or permanently disabled? Does your disability require you to change occupations or are you left unable to work altogether? If these are the questions you need answers to then keep reading because today we're going to address permanent total disability.

The importance of filing a claim when you realize you're injured

A lot of people, after suffering a work-related injury or realizing that they have an occupational disease, will immediately file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. For a lot of these people, there is no fear of losing their job or facing retaliation from their employer because they know that this isn't allowed by Ohio law.

But there are some in our state who may not know this, which is why some people hold off on filing claims for compensation. But even though there is no harm in being caution about the integrity of your employment, there is harm in waiting too long to file a workers' compensation claim.

Bumble Bee Foods LLC, 2 others held liable for worker's death

On October 11, 2012, the eyes of our entire nation were focused on the state of California where a catastrophic industrial accident claimed the life of a 62-year-old worker at a Bumble Bee Foods LLC plant in Santa Fe Springs. For those of our Ohio readers who may not remember, the man died after becoming trapped in an oven used to sanitize cans of tuna.

The case garnered national attention because it highlighted the crucial need for safety training in the manufacturing industry not just in California but across the United States. This tragedy may have even forced companies and workers here in Ohio to reconsider safety policies within their own workplace and make the necessary changes to avoid a catastrophe like this from happening here in our state.

How long do I have to file for an occupational disease?

Revised Code § 4123.85 prescribes the limitations and notice requirements governing occupational disease claims. In all cases of occupational disease, or death resulting from occupational disease, claims for compensation or benefits shall be forever barred unless, within two years after the disability due to the disease began, or within such longer period as does not exceed six months after diagnosis of the occupational disease by a licensed physician or within two years after death occurs. 

The Workers' Compensation Bargain

The Workers' Compensation Act reflects a growing public sentiment that employees should receive compensation for work-related injuries and that compensation should be regarded as a charge upon the business in which the employee worked. Workers' compensation therefore attempts to accommodate the correlative rights and duties of employers and employees. Each party relinquishes certain common law rights and duties in exchange for the imposition of new statutory rights and duties.

Ohio makes changes to its workers' comp billing system

As you may have already heard from news sources like the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation recently made changes to its billing system for workers' compensation coverage. The change will affect any private or public employers who are currently receiving workers' compensation coverage through the state and will become effective on July 1, 2015 and January 1, 2016 respectively.

But while private employers across the state are readying themselves for the major change to how they currently pay their insurance premiums, some of our Columbus readers may be wondering what this change will mean for employers and if it will have any effect on workers or their benefits.

Several Richland County employers receive safety award from BWC

As we have said many times before on this blog, providing a safe working environment should be an employer's top concern. When they start to let their safety standards slip or fail to address their employees' needs, accidents can happen, which can mean everything from injuries, to illnesses, to death.

Although the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is often cited as the driving force in promoting safe working environments, The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation shouldn't be overlooked. They too, along with our state's safety councils, are eager to promote safety in the workplace because they too understand how profound of an impact a workplace accident can have on a worker and their family.

Is a construction company liable for workers' comp insurance?

Ohio laws clearly state that if an employer has any employees, they must have an active workers' compensation insurance policy in place. If an employee suffers an injury on the job, they may seek workers' compensation benefits, which should help cover lost wages and medical bills.

But due to the complexity of the law, even the most knowledgeable of employers may still have questions about coverage and whether they are required by law to provide it to their workers. One question that can arise among construction companies is whether they are liable for workers' compensation coverage or not. To answer this question, we must first look at the state's definition of an employee.

Study shows danger of exposure to particular oil cleanup chemical

A study published this month may start raising concerns about the use of a particular dispersant known as Corexit EC9500A, which was widely used in the cleanup efforts following the Deepwater Horizon explosion. According to the study, which was conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham and highlighted in a recent Washington Post article, exposure to the chemical causes damage to epithelial cells that are found in both human lungs and the gills of aquatic animals.

Researchers documented that the chemical "causes structural and functional abnormalities in airway tissue" which can lead to serious respiratory problems. It's believed that thousands of people, including workers and those who helped with the cleanup efforts after the BP oil spill, may have inhaled the chemical, which may have caused damage to their lungs. Although the study did not conclude that this was the case, it does suggest that it could be a very real outcome for some.