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How is workers’ compensation impacted by work safety violations?

On Behalf of | Dec 29, 2022 | Workers' Compensation

In Ohio, accidents on the job can happen without warning. It does not matter what kind of work a person is doing, there is always a chance of injury. While some jobs are riskier than others, people who have been hurt need to know their rights to workers’ compensation benefits.

Part of that is understanding if a misstep by the employer contributed to or outright caused the accident. This could result in the worker getting additional compensation. Under state law, this is referred to as a violation of a specific safety requirement (VSSR). From the start, workers and their families should have professional help with their case.

Important points about an employer safety violation regarding an injury

Employers are responsible for a safe workplace and to address any dangers as they might come up. This includes following all workplace safety rules. If an employer did not adhere to the rules and a worker was injured because of it or their injuries were made worse due to the lapse, this could lead to the injured worker getting additional compensation along with basic workers’ compensation benefits.

The amount varies, but it ranges from 15% to 50% of the maximum weekly compensation they would normally get. In these cases, the worker is required to prove to the Industrial Commission that the violation occurred.

The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has a unit to investigate these cases. Once the investigation is complete, all parties receive a report. A negotiated settlement is possible. If there is no settlement, the IC will make its decision. The sides can appeal.

Employer safety violations could be important in a workers’ compensation case

The news is rife with worker complaints about safety violations on the job. Recently, that has centered on major retailers’ warehouses. Other types of employment where this can be a problem are the construction industry and the food service industry.

While these are the common types of jobs where this is an issue, it can happen anywhere. Employers must have a safe work environment with all of the necessary equipment available with workers required and trained to use them. Failure to do so could impact the workers’ compensation case.

When there has been a work injury, workers should think about maximizing their workers’ compensation benefits. If the incident was due to VSSR, it could mean they will receive greater compensation than they normally would. In these cases, it is crucial to have a full investigation and to accrue evidence as to what happened. Consulting with those who specialize in workers’ compensation can help.