The Bainbridge Firm, LLC
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation

Toll Free: 800-762-1612

Columbus : 614-545-9990

Portsmouth : 740-353-7548

Ironton :740-532-9772

Marion : 740-387-6727

Cambridge : 740-435-3342

Waverly : 740-835-8890

For Labor Day, a brief history of Ohio's workers' comp system

Monday is Labor Day. Most of us will enjoy the extra day off, but Labor Day weekend is also a time to reflect on the evolution of workplace safety protections in this country, including the introduction of workers’ compensation benefits when an employee gets hurt on the job.

Ohio’s modern workers’ compensation system is relatively recent, dating back to 1911. Before that, a person injured in the course of his or her work duties could only sue his or her employer for compensation. Workers who were able to sue failed around 80 percent of the time, a journal article from the University of Akron explains. Employers had many defenses at their disposal, including contributory negligence, assumption of the risk and the fellow servant rule. These defenses hold the injured worker responsible for his or her own injuries, either totally or in part.

Then, in 1910, the General Assembly passed a bill reforming these affirmative defenses and formed a commission to study whether a workers’ compensation system would be right for Ohio. That commission reported back to lawmakers that workers at dangerous jobs could expect little, if any, compensation to their families if they were killed. Even when the worker survives, he or she is likely to become impoverished and forced onto public assistance, because obtaining compensation from the employer was so difficult and unlikely.

The Assembly passed the state’s first workers’ comp law in response. That led to a constitutional amendment in 1912 that created a system, compulsory for employers and workers, in which injured workers would be compensated through a fund. Today, the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation administers this fund.

In 2015, workplace conditions are often far from perfect, but they are generally much better than they were more than a century ago. Still, people can still get hurt or sick on the job, which is when they need to turn to workers’ compensation.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
email us for a response

Free Initial consultationCall us today for a free initial consultation. We promise to provide a response within a few hours.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

office locations - we have Multiple Locations to serve you.

The Bainbridge Firm, LLC

Columbus Office
900 Michigan Avenue
Columbus, OH 43215

Toll Free: 800-762-1612
Phone: 614-545-9990
Fax: 614-224-9300
Map & Directions

Portsmouth Office
611 Court Street
Portsmouth, OH 45662

Toll Free: 800-762-1612
Phone: 740-353-7548
Fax: 740-353-1984
Map & Directions

Ironton Office
119 North Fifth Street
Ironton, OH 45638

Toll Free: 800-762-1612
Phone: 740-532-9772
Fax: 740-532-3127
Map & Directions

Marion Office
198 East Center Street
Marion, OH 43302

Toll Free: 800-762-1612
Phone: 740-387-6727
Fax: 740-382-5816
Map & Directions

Cambridge Office
120 Southgate Parkway
Cambridge, Ohio 43725

Toll Free: 800-762-1612
Phone: 740-435-3342
Fax: 740-435-3329
Map & Directions

Waverly Office
112 North Market Street
Suite B
Waverly, OH 45690

Toll Free: 800-762-1612
Phone: 740-835-8890
Fax: 740-835-8891
Waverly Law Office Map

  • Super Lawyers
  • Av lexis Nexis martindale-hubbell peer rated review rated for ethical standards and legal ability
  • Listed in Best lawyers | The world's premier guide
  • ohio state bar association EST 1880
  • ohio association for justice
  • CBA | columbus bar association
  • U.S. News & best lawyers present best law firms 2015