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New Year to bring broader work injury reporting rules

The holiday season is a time of joy. For the vast majority of Ohio residents, that's exactly how the time is experienced. In an ideal world, there would be nothing to disrupt those feelings, but the reality is that the rigors of daily labor include risks.

At any given time, an accident can occur that can leave a person ill, seriously injured, maimed or killed. In any of those circumstances, workers' compensation is intended to be a resource to which injured workers and their families can turn so that they can weather the storm of debilitating or incapacitating conditions. 

In order for those benefits to be paid out however, claims have to be made and approved. And as anyone who has ever had to go through that process knows, it can be difficult to obtain the help that the law requires of employers unless you have the support of experienced legal counsel.

The federal government's Occupational Safety and Health Administration is among the watchdog groups that strive to make sure that worker injuries aren't relegated to a back burner. And as we observed in a recent article, there is a new rule due to take effect with the start of the new year that could go some way to making sure that certain serious injuries don't get swept under the carpet.

As the article notes, the new rule requires employers to let regulators know anytime an employee loses a limb, digit or eye. The rule stipulates that OSHA has to be notified within 24 hours of any accident that results in a person suffering an amputation or hospitalization. If an accident results in death, the report must be made within eight hours. The previous rule set the bar quite a bit higher.

Having such a rule on the books is a good thing. Making sure that employers abide by the rules is even better. OSHA officials the expectation is that the new rule will generate about 25,000 new injury reports in 2015 and inspire employers to do more to improve work environment safety.

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