It is estimated that more than three million workers are injured on the job or suffer from a job-related illness each year in the country. Unfortunately, a large majority of those come from Illinois – especially in the denser, more populated areas where millions of workers are constructing new commercial buildings, homes and retail outlets. These injuries do not just affect the worker; they can also affect the worker’s family. When an employee is injured, he or she often turns to the employer for assistance, and rely on workers’ compensation to help pay for lost wages and medical costs. But, the majority of work-related injuries and illnesses could be avoided altogether if there was better reporting.
Reporting work-related injuries more efficiently could help employers see what puts their employees at risk – and help them take proper steps to avoid injuries in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), requires that employers gather information regarding injuries on the job and submit it to the administration. OSHA then analyzes, reviews, and determines the cause – in hopes that they can draft new guidelines to increase safety in that particular field.
A pending rule change by OSHA may make individual employer records available. This rule specifically applies to high-hazardous industries, such as construction. Employers in these high-hazard industries will be forced to gather data as they have in the past, but that data will then be posted publicly on OSHA’s website. The rules take effect August 2016, and employees – as well as potential employees – can review a company to see its track record in terms of injuries. This will help employees better pick their next employer – or see if their current employer has a high number of on-the-job injuries. Also, OSHA’s goal with this public disclosure is to encourage employers to take steps to decrease the number of injuries that happen in their workplace.
The data released will not specifically discuss the name or contact information of the injured workers. Instead, it will release statistics and information regarding the accident – specifically, how it occurred. The goal is to keep the numbers as accurate as possible, so that employees – as well as other employers – can figure out a better way to keep safe on the job. OSHA will not serve any retaliation against employers for self-reporting. Instead, they want better transparency in order to reduce the number of workplace accidents – rather than punish companies for supplying their data.
Plenty of employees enter a career field without understanding the risks. They may not realize that they could be a potential victim to a workplace accident. But, with these new rules and reporting procedures, employees can better anticipate if a job is worth the risk (and even the income associated with that risk), before accepting the position.
Regardless of how you were injured, you could qualify for workers’ compensation under Illinois law. First, you will want to have your case assessed by a workers’ compensation attorney. The team at Malman Law has been handling workers’ compensation and work-related illness cases for years. We can work with your employer’s insurer to get you the compensation that you need for lost wages and medical costs. If there was a third party involved, we may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf, as well. To explore your options, contact an attorney now for a free consultation at (888) 625-6265 or fill out our online contact form with your questions.
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