Many times when people think of job-related accidents they think about an employer's inability to keep the workplace safe. They may think of faulty equipment and an employer's failure to provide proper safety equipment to employees. While these mistakes very well may be violations that entitle an injured individual to workers' compensation and lead to the employer being forced to pay a fine, they are not the only employer failures that can lead to an unsafe work environment.
Many times on this blog we discuss workplace environments that seem safe, but actually pose hidden dangers. However, there are also workplaces that are inherently dangerous. Amongst these are those locations where law enforcement personnel work. Every day, these brave men and women risk their lives to protect our communities. When these individuals are injured, they should be provided the compensation they need to reach a full recovery.
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.
Three CSX employees were recently injured on the job in Ohio. Reports indicate the men were working on a railroad crossing when a car drove around two sets of barricades, hit a utility pole, then slammed into them. All three men were injured and were taken to the hospital. While the accident remains under investigation, these workers may have to deal with extreme pain and they might be unable to return to work for a considerable length of time.
Workplace safety is an employer's responsibility. They are expected to provide adequate and safe equipment, properly install safety features, promote and enforce safety procedures, and ensure employees are trained to work in a safe manner. When an employer fails to live up to these standards a serious accident can occur, causing serious injuries to workers. OSHA works to hold these employers accountable, and it has recently fined several companies, including one based in Ohio, for unsafe working conditions.
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.
Several workplace environments can turn deadly in a matter of moments. These hazards are invisible to many as company policies, regulatory codes, and state and/or federal laws operate to protect workers. But sometimes employers become lackadaisical about enforcing these rules and regulations, placing employees at risk of harm in the process. Other times, unpreventable accidents occur leaving workers injured. No matter how a worker is harmed, he often rightly feels like he should be taken care of by his employer.
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.
Firefighters and police officers serve to protect our communities. Every day these individuals put their lives on the line to make us safe. When these courageous men and women are injured or killed on the job, their employers should take care of them and their families. While many workers' compensation claims are accepted and paid out, others are denied. A recent workers' compensation claim denial helps illustrate how these claims work and issues that may come up when one is filed.
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.