Virginia workers may know that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration executed a new program last year that all businesses must now follow. The program, implemented on Jan. 1, 2015, requires employers to report severe injuries such as amputations, hospitalizations and eye loss to OSHA within 24 hours of them occurring. So far, OSHA has noted that many employers are going above and beyond what federal law requires of them for keeping employees safe.
The objective of the new rule is to have employers determine what led to a worker's injury by evaluating their own safety practices. In the past, OSHA might have sent an inspector to a job site or fined a business for failing to keep employees safe. With the new program, companies conduct their own investigations and propose remedies to OSHA.
The findings related to the new program were not all positive though. There are still a number of companies, especially in the small and medium-sized business sector, that are not complying with reporting requirements. OSHA intends to help these organizations understand the importance of reporting and increase the number of businesses that comply in the next year.
When someone has been injured on the job, they may face a variety of medical bills and recovery expenses, and they may also lose time at work while they recover. Workers' compensation provides funds for medical bills, prescriptions and lost wages, and it is available to workers who have been hurt at their workplace or as a result of the type of work that they do. This includes direct physical harm on a work site or the development of a condition, like a repetitive stress injury. A lawyer could help someone apply for these benefits or petition to have a denied claim reviewed.