What role does OSHA play in Workers’ Comp?

While your Workers’ Compensation won’t be paid out by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), they play an important role in the¬†prevention of injury, providing support and ensuring that procedures are kept when claiming for compensation, and in aftercare and changes to be made when an accident happens.

Prevention of Injury

OSHA is directly responsible for making sure employers take every precaution they can to make sure their employees’ health and safety at work is taken care of. The employer must do everything they reasonably can to prevent faulty or aging equipment, poor practice, inadequate procedures and malpractice from doing harm to their employees. Workers are also responsible for following procedures and using common sense in order to prevent harm to them or their peers.

OSHA will periodically implement new rules and guidelines as it learns more about the dangers in each workplace, and make their rules more efficient in order to aid workers. They will then enforce these rules on workplaces to ensure workers’ health and safety are protected. Any companies that ignore OSHA’s warnings will be fined.

Providing Support

OSHA can provide support during an injury claim by having access to injury and workplace health records that are provided by the employer. Anytime an injury – No matter the extent of it – occurs in the workplace, it must be recorded. This means that when you are injured at work, you can then refer to this record in order to provide evidence to the insurance agents and courts. Once this occurs, then OSHA will double-check the information and confirm it with the insurance agents if needed.

They can also provide support by ensuring that these standards and measures are kept up in the workplace. They will randomly and periodically check a workplace is following the correct measures for recording injuries, and if the workplace isn’t, then the employer will be fined.

However, be aware if they find that you, or a work colleague are responsible for the injury by not following correct procedures, or knowingly using faulty equipment without reporting it, then they will be honest in that you are responsible for the accident.

Aftercare

Once an injury occurs at work, if it is caused by the employer or workplace, rather than the worker, OSHA may investigate the cause of the injury and if it is something that the employer can reasonably change to aid in keeping workers’ healthy and safe, then OSHA will ask the employer to implement the change. OSHA may also – if seen to be required – ask the industry as a whole to make the requested change.

In the case that the employer wasn’t following a regulation or act that was put in place by OSHA, then they will investigate the employers and directors at the company, and if found to be wilfully ignoring these regulations, they will be fined and in the worst cases, imprisoned for manslaughter or murder.

This is especially important in an industry that all uses the same tools or procedures as if you are hurt, then many others may be over the long run too. This frequently happens when new methods of working are introduced or new materials are created or found and used in workplaces.

It is important to note that OSHA will not be responsible for your compensation fees in any way; they don’t hold money from the employer as insurance agents do, and they will not go to court for or against you, but they can provide evidence for the court to take in your case. This evidence could either aid or harm your case, as the circumstances dictate.

If you want to find out more about OSHA, then do visit the website linked at the top of this article. If you want to ask us any questions, then send us an email!