It appears that many employers remain uncommitted to worker safety. There were 89 worker fatalities in Wisconsin during 2011, and during the same year in excess of 74,000 work-related injuries.
Yet with all of these incidents requiring investigation, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) only has 36 safety inspectors in our state. A labor leader noted that the OSHA budget amounts to $4.17 per worker for an entire year. It is also claimed by a local OSHA official that measures for protecting workers from exposure to various substances are extremely outdated.
The reason why we hire attorneys when someone suffers a work-related injury to begin with is because safety regulations designed to protect workers may prove to be inadequate. Also, workers’ compensation laws put in place to financially assist workers and their families in the event of injury or death are complex.
Workers’ compensation law is governed by a series of statutes that is different for every state. Because the employer controls the time, place and conditions of employment for its workers, the laws are put in place so that injuries that occur while on the job can be compensated without having to prove that the employer was actually at fault. However, workers nevertheless need to comply with a variety of reporting requirements before determinations can be made as to how much in benefits should be paid out.
Injured workers will require the assistance of a good workers’ compensation attorney in order that benefits will not be denied or overlooked. If employers are unwilling to implement better safety procedures, workers deserve all the help that they can get for being injured upon the job.
Source: Wisconsin Public Radio News, “On OSHA Anniversary, Labor Calls for Updated Worker Safety Laws,” by Shamane Mille, May 3, 2013