Workers in the United States trust that they will be protected when they are on the job. Since its creation in 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been the main agency tasked with enforcing workplace safety rules. Companies that fail to follow the rules that OSHA has in place could find themselves facing substantial fines and penalties.
Recently, a new report by the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Labor, of which OSHA is a part, analyzed OSHA's ability to monitor workplaces across the country. The review determined that OSHA's resources are seriously strained, and they are only able to police areas where they will have the greatest impact. This may mean that many more employees could potentially be subject to dangerous workplace injuries in a host of different types of occupations.
Of particular concern to officials was the number of companies participating in voluntary review programs that have higher than average injury rates. These companies are exempted from further review by OSHA as long as they maintain clean safety records. Despite their recent failures, these companies were allowed to continue to participate in the program.
While workplace deaths have fallen since OSHA has been created, the agency is facing pressure to improve oversight. This could result in a comprehensive overhaul of workplace safety rules.
Those who have been injured while working may be eligible to recover workers' compensation benefits to help them deal with the missed wages that will result from being out of work. These benefits will also cover medical expenses connected to any treatment that is necessary to help them recovery from their injuries.
In order to receive these benefits, workers must follow the specific rules and procedures in place in their state. Colorado workers should notify their employees whenever an on-the-job injury occurs, as this will start the entire process. Failing to report these accidents could lead to serious problems when trying to collect benefits at a later point.
You may have several questions about what you need to do in order to have access to these payments. Speak to an experienced workers' compensation attorney to gain a better understanding of the process and the steps that you must follow to be eligible for benefits.
Every person will respond differently to treatment. In some situations, disputes may arise about the injuries that have been diagnosed or the treatment that you are to receive. It is important that you have someone on your side, who is able to protect your rights and ensure that you are able to get the care you need to return to health.