Keeping track of workers who are injured on-the-job is important. Employers need to report some injuries to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and in fact the OSHA reporting requirements have recently changed to require more incidents to be reported than in the past. Companies also need to keep their own internal records of problems both to make requested information available to OSHA and to identify areas for improvement.
Unfortunately, a recent study has revealed that as many as 90 percent of companies are not living up to the record keeping rules. If these companies can’t even properly keep track of people getting hurt on-the-job, this is a bad sign regarding how seriously they take protecting their workers. Unfortunately, workers who are hurt on-the-job generally can’t sue their employers even if violations occurred because workers’ comp laws limit recovery. Instead of suing an employer, workers typically have to make a work injury claim unless their situation falls into one of the very narrow exceptions to workers’ comp laws.
If you or a loved one is hurt, you need to ensure that your employer and workers’ compensation insurer at least provide you with the medical coverage and disability payments you need. An Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer can help you to ensure you get the benefits guaranteed by law.
Employers Not Fulfilling their OSHA Obligations to Report Work Injuries
According to a study conducted by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, just 10 percent of companies were in full compliance with the record-keeping mandates set by OSHA. A total of 110 companies were interviewed by researchers, and 97 of the companies had OSHA records. The key question was whether they fulfilled four required aspects of recording including:
- Whether the company used an OSHA log to record illnesses and injuries.
- The types of cases that were recorded on the log.
- How the cases were classified, including whether they were listed as injuries with days away from work (DAFW) or as injuries with job transfer or restriction (DJTR) only.
- Whether temporary worker injuries were recorded on the OSHA log.
Unfortunately, most companies failed in at least one of these areas. Some recorded too much, including all injuries regardless of their severity or including all workers’ compensation claims on OSHA logs instead of recording only those that meet the OSHA case definitions. Others got the classification of the injury wrong. More troubling, around half of the 53 companies who used temp workers said that they would not include a record of the temporary workers’ injuries on their OSHA logs. This puts temp workers at even greater risk since companies are not correctly tracking the types of incidents in which these temp workers are hurt.
Companies need to ensure they are in compliance with OSHA reporting rules as well as with other safeguards that are in place to protect workers. If someone is hurt or killed on the job, the victim or his family should get appropriate legal help from an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney to ensure the law is followed and benefits are paid.
The Atlanta work injury lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. offer free consultations to injured employees. Call today or contact us online to learn more.