In order to keep workplaces safe, regulators and employers must work together to implement measures to keep workers out of harm's way. One aspect necessary to attain such a lofty goal is accurate and adequate tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. By knowing how many injuries and illnesses occur in a given time period, regulators can crack down on troublesome workplaces, forcing them to implement the measures needed to keep workers safe.
While the Occupational Safety and Health Administration already requires employers to report these instances, it is now seeking to impose a new rule that will require employers to submit injury and illness reports electronically. Those companies with 250 or more employees would be required to complete this task on a quarterly basis. OSHA claims gathering this data in an electronic database will allow it to more adequately allocate its resources, thereby better serving workers' needs. Also, OSHA hopes the reports will be made public, thereby allowing employers to see where they stand with others in their field and providing workers with the information they need to make the best employment decision.
By modernizing this reporting system and making it publicly available, OSHA puts the workplace in the spotlight and thus hopes to make it safer. Yet, the sad reality remains that workplace accidents will continue to occur. Those who are injured on the job may suffer physical pain, economic loss, and emotional devastation.
These individuals should consider seeking workers' compensation benefits, which can help cover medical expenses, including those tied to a permanent disability, and lost wages. Though workers may think obtaining such compensation is easy, it can actually be quite difficult. Oftentimes insurance companies deny a worker's claim for various reasons, such as the injury pre-existed the workplace accident or the injurious accident occurred outside the scope of the worker's employment.
When a worker's claim is denied, he or she should seek legal assistance. A Pennsylvania attorney with workers' compensation experience will fight to get the dismissal overturned and recover the compensation to which the worker is entitled.
Source: Land Line Magazine, "OSHA proposes new rule to track workplace injuries and illnesses," Clarissa Hawes, Jan. 24, 2014