U.S. employers have long been required to carry workers' compensation coverage, but many employers are coming to believe that preventing accidents and focusing on safety is much more cost-effective than dealing with workers' injuries.
However, there are still employers who do not understand this simple premise or who do not believe that planning for safety is cost-effective. Many employers may be confused about safety regulations or unsure how to implement them. Because of this confusion, some employers fail to take steps to implement safety protocols for fear that they will violate rules. Others do not feel they have the working capital to put safety measures in place in their companies and are simply hoping that nothing will happen to their workers.
Some employers are also upset about press releases from OSHA, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which inform the general public of recent citations. They complain that the releases defame companies before wrongdoing has been proven. However, OSHA defends the practice as a form of common law enforcement that discourages other companies from failing to comply with safety regulations.
A workers' compensation attorney advises those who have been injured in on-the-job accidents. If an employer has been negligent in enforcing workplace safety regulations, the employer may be liable for damages sustained by workers who are hurt on the job. These damages may include loss of wages, medical bills, pain and suffering and other costs.
Source: Bloomberg BNA, "OSHA Head Says Wide Range of Tools Needed to Enforce Rules on Worker Safety," Stephen Lee, January 16, 2013
•· Our firm works with people who have been injured on the job. To learn more, please visit our Pennsylvania workers' compensation page.