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.
The answer to this question is "it depends". It is an important question, however, because compensation as well as medical benefits cannot be paid if the claim has expired.
You may file a workers' compensation claim, even if the injury was your fault. The Ohio Workers' Compensation system is a "no-fault" system, which means that benefits are not determined by looking at who was at fault for the injury. Workers' compensation in Ohio eliminates negligence and fault as bases of loss allocation, and then distributes the cost of injuries among those parties who are best equipped to absorb them. This means that questions of fault, blame, wrongdoing, wrongful acts or omissions, or neglect are theoretically irrevelant under Ohio's workers' compensation system. What must be shown is that the workers' employment had the requisite causal connection with the injury.
Another Ohio workplace has been hit with fines by OSHA. The Reliable Castings Corp. manufacturing facility in Sidney, Ohio was found to have 14 safety and health violations that threatened to injure workers. Amongst the company's violations include failing to install guardrails near floor openings and ovens, failing to require employees to use hard hats and face shields, failing to prevent employee exposure to potential splashing molten aluminum, and failing to ensure an electrical area was protected from water. These violations led to more than $293,000 in fines, but more importantly, placed workers at extreme risk of harm.
Ohio's construction workers are often exposed to dangerous working conditions, including fast-moving cars. These risks sometimes result in construction workers suffering serious, and at times life-ending, injuries. In fact, since 2008, more than 600 accidents happened involving a traveling motorist and Ohio Department Transportation equipment and vehicles. Many times, workers are in the vicinity of these accidents. With this in mind, the Ohio General Assembly passed a bill designed to further protect construction workers.
Ohio has several factories that provide much needed jobs to the area and much needed materials to the country as a whole. These factories would not function if it were not for their workers. As employees act as the heartbeat of these companies, employers should want to keep them as safe as possible.
Readers of this blog are well aware of some of the dangers posed by their work environments. Heavy machinery can catch limbs or crush workers, employees can fall from heights, and construction workers may be at risk of getting hit by cars. But there is another danger lurking in many workplaces: contaminated air. In many factories, particles in the air can be harmful if inhaled. While many employers provide their employees with the proper safety equipment to protect them from these particles, sometimes they do not. Ohio workers should know what they can do when they are harmed in these situations.
There are many factories in Ohio. Those employed at these plants may know the dangers posed by the heavy machinery and extreme temperatures with which they work. However, as time passes and accidents do not occur, some employers may be lulled to sleep when it comes to enforcing safety regulations and checking the safety of equipment. When this happens, workers are put at risk of being seriously injured.
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.
Large machinery, heavy materials, dangerous heights, and fast-paced work environments are some of the dangers construction workers face on a daily basis. But these brave employees confront these risks head-on in order to build the structures our society needs and desires. They may feel safe, seemingly protected by safety regulations and company policies, but the truth of the matter tells different. Workplace accidents happen all the time and can strike when a worker least suspects it.