How Much Compensation Can I Receive If My Employers Fails to Comply With a Specific Safety Requirement Causes My Injury?
by Jacob Brandt | Jun 15, 2020 | Workers' Compensation
As explained in our other blog posts, under Ohio Law there are specific safety requirements that employers are required to follow in order to ensure the safety of their employees. These requirements are codified under Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 4123:1. This section of the Ohio Administrative Code provides clear and distinct requirement that employers are obligated to follow. These rules are similar in nature to the rules set by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
When an employer fails to comply with these requirements and an injury results therefrom the injured worker is entitled to additional compensation. We are often asked, “how much compensation will I get as a result of this violation?” There are two important determinations to be made in answering this question.
First, how severe, or flagrant was the violation?
The answer to this question is provided by the Industrial Commission of Ohio, the adjudicating body of the Ohio Workers’ Compensation system. Once a request for compensation resulting from a violation of a specific safety requirement (VSSR) is made a through investigation into what occurred is completed by the Ohio VSSR Unit. The Ohio VSSR unit puts together an investigation report that once completed is sent to the Ohio Industrial Commission for review. Once the report is received the Industrial Commission sets an in person hearing where both the employer and injured worker are able to present their case. Following that hearing, a Staff Hearing Office of the Industrial Commission will issue an order rating the severity of the violation on a scale of 0%-50%. In making this determination the Industrial Commission takes into consideration any negligence on the part of the injured worker that may have contributed to their injury.
Once the Industrial Commission determines the severity of the violation the next question to be answered is how long was the injured worker entitled to compensation for their injuries? The longer the injured worker was entitled to compensation for their injuries the greater the amount of compensation they will receive for a VSSR claim.
Once the severity of the violation and the period of compensation received is determined the calculation for VSSR compensation becomes mathematical. In simple terms the calculation is as follows: take the percentage of severity assigned by Industrial Commission, apply that percentage to the maximum rate of compensation the injured worker was entitled to in their claim, and then multiply that number by the amount of weeks the injured worker was receiving compensation.
Here’s an example of how the calculation works:
Say an injured worker received severe injures as a result of a violation of a specific safety requirement in 2019. Following that injured they were temporarily and totally disabled for a period of fifty (50) weeks. That injured worker filed a VSSR claim and the Industrial Commission found that the employer’s violation was severe and issued an order finding 40%. The Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation set the maximum rate of compensation for temporary total disability for a 2019 claim at $950.00. (Here’s a link to the BWC Max Rate Chart https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/downloads/blankpdf/comprates.pdf)
First apply the severity percentage of 40% to the maximum rate of compensation for temporary total disability for a 2019 claim which is $950.00. Forty percent of $950.00 is $380.00. Then multiply that $380.00 by the number of weeks over which compensation was paid, which in this case is fifty (50) weeks. So, in this example the injured worker would be entitled to an award of $19,000.00 for their employer’s violation of a specific safety requirement.
If you have suffered an injury as a result of a violation of a specific safety requirement and want paid what you are owed do not hesitate to contact workers’ comp. attorneys in Columbus and around the state with over 50 years of experience at The Bainbridge Firm. We can provide you all the assistance you need in order to prove your claim and obtain all the compensation you are rightfully due.
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