Industrial safety is something that is easily taken for granted. Every time an industrial accident occurs, the reaction from the company is usually a reaffirmation that worker safety is a top priority, and that it is always taken seriously. And in some cases, that is probably true.
While it may be true that those engaging in asbestos removal understand the risk of workplace injuries, on account of exposure to a substance known to cause cancer, dangers from other sources are not necessarily foreseeable.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation has recently released statistics that show over 5,000 Ohio workers have suffered amputation injuries since 2005. The data shows 5,405 workers' compensation claims related to such injuries were made between 2005 and 2012. Officials say many of these injuries are non-life-threatening and involve losing fingertips or thumbs. However, these injuries are serious and may leave workers with a physical handicap, render them unable to work, and throw a wrench in their financial stability.
Most people have driven through construction zones at one time or another. They have seen the orange cones or barrels to mark closed lanes, reduced speed limit signs, and men and women at work on the roadway. Despite all the safety precautions taken to protect workers, job-related accidents still occur on an all too regular basis. Some of these accidents are caused by negligent drivers while others are caused by unsafe working conditions.
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation Administration has announced nine grants that were awarded to employers to reduce illness and injuries in the workplace. The Bureau has agreed to a $3 match for every $1 an employer contributes to the safety intervention programs in an effort to increase worker safety and reduce workers' compensation expenses. The grants are to be used to purchase several pieces of equipment meant to prevent injuries such as those attributed to repetitive motion, awkward posture, and slips and falls.
The Ohio Supreme Court has handed down a ruling that has some workers' compensation advocates disgruntled. The decision, which held a mental-health claim is covered by workers' compensation only if it is related to a physical injury, derived from an accident where a vehicle slammed into the back of a company truck, killing the driver of the first vehicle. The driver of the company truck was physically injured and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. The Ohio Supreme Court found there was not enough evidence to establish the physical injuries were a cause of the post-traumatic stress disorder.
Thousands of Ohio companies are in trouble for failing to pay their most recent workers' compensation premium. Failure to pay this premium has a negative effect on businesses that actually do pay because it drives up insurance costs. Failure to pay also places injured workers at risk because there may not be insurance to cover workplace injuries.
By May 25, Ohio employers must decide whether to remain with their current managed care plan or to choose a new managed care organization to provide services to employees who suffer from job-related accidents and injuries.