The US Congress passed into law the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) in 1970 in order to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all employees all across the US. This Act paved the way for the formation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in 1971, the task of which is to implement the standards formed under the Act, encourage and help all US states in creating safe and healthy working conditions, and provide information, training (and so forth) in the area of occupational safety and health.
The mandates that OSHA enforces are directed to employers in both public and private sectors, making them totally liable for injuries and/or illnesses sustained or developed by workers and employees. Obviously, though, some managers remain to be stubborn in implementing federal and state safety standards, while some employees seem to be concerned only about their own comfort, leading to complete disregard of the rules for safety enforced by OSHA.
There are many causes of injuries that could seriously affect a worker’s financial capacity, especially if the injury renders the worker incapable or reporting back to work for a period longer than he/she expects to be healed. The most common causes that have been identified by the US Department of Labor, though, include:
- Violent acts due to arguments and office politics
- Continuous repetitive motion, which can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome and back pains
- Getting entangled in machines in factories
- Driving as part of work
- Getting struck by an object (or by a vehicle – for those working in construction sites)
- Getting hit by a falling object
- Falling from a ladder, the roof, stairs, or any elevated place
- Slipping and/or tripping, which happens to be the second most common cause of workplace injury
- Overexertion, due to carrying, pulling, pushing, holding or lifting heavy objects
Regardless of the cause of injury or whose fault it may be, a worker is entitled to file for benefits with the Workers’ Compensation or Workers’ Comp. This insurance benefit was introduced during the early part of the 20th century to provide immediate and sure financial assistance to workers/employees, who sustain a job-related injury or who develops an occupational illness. Alongside this benefit came laws that were designed to improve safety in the workplace and therefore reduce the number of workplace injuries.
On its website, the workers’ compensation law firm Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC, explains how costly medical treatment, on top of income losses due to inability to render work for days or weeks, can put an injured worker’s family under serious financial conditions. The matter further and reiterates the right of the victim to the compensation, which he/she is entitled to and which is intended to keep him/her from crippling financial situations. The chance of being awarded the Workers’ Comp benefits, however, sometimes depends on the resolve of a legal professional representing the injured worker. Thus, it is critical that the lawyer the victim hires is highly-knowledgeable and competent in the field of workplace injury and Worker’s Compensation.Read More