In addition to reporting the injury, seeking medical care after the injury is perhaps one of the most important things to do at the beginning of workers' compensation claims. Obtaining medical care creates documentation of the diagnosis and the injury that was sustained. In many situations, the medical care provided just after the injury can help direct the injured worker to more specialized care or therapy if such treatment is deemed necessary. It is also the first opportunity for a medical expert to offer an opinion on whether there is a cause and effect connection between the injury and the diagnosis.
Revised Code § 4123.53 permits the Administrator of the Bureau of Workers' compensation or the Industrial Commission to compel any employee "claiming the right to receive compensation to submit to a medical examination, vocational evaluation, or vocational questionnaire at any time, and from time to time at a place reasonably convenient for the employee." The Administrator or the Commission may order such examinations to resolve issues of fact and credibility, and it is within their discretion to choose the physician. The statute authorizes the payment to the claimant of all necessary and actual expenses incurred in attending an examination.
Prior to the 2010 implementation of the Affordable Care Act, it was estimated that approximately 40 million Americans were uninsured in the United States. In a majority of cases, those who sought medical treatment for injuries or illness struggled to make payments or could not pay at all. In other cases, the cost was too much, forcing people to make the difficult decision to not seek medical help at all.
Revised Code § 4123.54 provides that every employee who is injured or who contracts an occupational disease is entitled to receive such medical, nursing, and hospital services as are authorized under Chapter 4123 of the Revised Code. Revised Code § 4123.66 authorizes the Administrator of the Bureau of Workers' Compensation to pay such amounts from the State Insurance Fund for such medical services, nursing services, hospital services, and medicine as the Administrator "deems proper."
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 areand 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.
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.
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.