Why Do So Many Workers Not Report Their Injuries?
Worker compensation form for employment related injury or damage
Recent cases, like the one involving an immigrant worker who fell off a ladder and was arrested after a workers comp meeting by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, have brought to attention that more workers are not reporting their injuries. This can create a toxic work environment, with employees working through injuries and failing to report safety issues because of fear of losing their jobs. Recent legislation looks to make it more difficult to obtain workers comp, and safety programs have been targeted with funding cuts. Although this is alarming, existing laws are not in jeopardy.
What If You Notice Safety Hazards Are Going Unreported?
Try to bring up any safety issues with your employer as soon as possible to get the issue corrected. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, the employer has to attempt to remedy the issue. Make sure to mention to the employer that if the safety issue continues to be ignored, you will contact OSHA. This should call your employer into action. You also have the right to refuse to work in unsafe situations. Your safety is worth much more than the job. If you notice there is a fear about reporting safety issues and your employer is letting safety slip, you should contact OSHA for a worksite inspection.
Your Rights in a Worksite Inspection
Workers have the legal right to designate an employee representative to accompany the OSHA inspector without management supervision. Employers are not required to pay employees for participating in OSHA inspections. If you are in an employee union, the union will likely pick a representative for the inspection. In some cases, OSHA will write a letter investigating the issue to see if an inspection is necessary. Some issues are not enforceable by OSHA, and a letter can save time and resources.
What If I Am Not Offered Workers Comp for My Injuries?
Under Ohio law, any worker categorized as an employee needs to be covered by a workers comp plan. If your employer does not offer you coverage, or your claim is denied by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC), contacting a Columbus workers comp attorney is your best option to get the coverage you need.
Columbus workers comp attorneys at Larrimer & Larrimer, LLC are dedicated fighters of workers’ rights for those ignored by their employers and the BWC.