The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers nationwide, including Cincinnati, to provide work environments free of known hazards. Employers are responsible for the health and safety of employees, and if they fail to comply with prescribed safety standards, they could face stiff penalties and citations for safety violations. However, such penalties will not make up for the financial and other damages you or any other workplace accident victim suffered.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that millions of people across the U.S. suffer workplace injuries each year, and analysis of data shows that the construction and health care industries are among the most hazardous. A workplace accident can happen at any time, anywhere and to anyone. Fortunately, the state-regulated workers' compensation insurance program will have your back if you should suffer an occupational injury or illness.
Most frequently filed workers' compensation claims
Regardless of the industry in which you work, you might fall victim to any one of the following common work-related injuries:
- Equipment errors: Along with construction, any other sector in which you operate heavy equipment or complex machines pose significant hazards. Errors while you operate equipment can cause anything from cuts and lacerations to amputations.
- Slips, trips and falls: Same-level falls can happen in any work environment where wet spots can cause slips and where debris or randomly placed objects can cause trips. Typical injuries you could suffer in a fall include strained or sprained muscles, open wounds, fractures, and even traumatic brain injuries.
- Electrical injuries: Even if you are not an electrician, you could suffer electrical injuries. Water near exposed circuits and electrical outlets as well as damaged electrical cords can cause shocks and burns, and electrocution can be deadly.
- Vehicle Accidents: Work-related vehicle accidents cause a significant percentage of workplace injuries. Although truck operators face the highest risks, you could be involved in a crash while doing any work-related driving.
- Musculoskeletal injuries: Whenever you do any manual material handling, you will risk injuries to the tissues surrounding the muscles in your back, shoulders and other areas. Using proper techniques when you lift, pull, push, carry or lower heavy object can prevent these injuries.
It makes sense to become familiar with your employer's procedures to follow in the event of a workplace injury. There are time limits for reporting injuries to your employer, and he or she also has a time limit to file the report with the Ohio workers' compensation program.
While you focus on recovering and getting back to work, you can utilize the skills of an attorney who has experience in helping injured workers navigate benefits claims. Compensation could include medical expenses, hospital bills, physical therapy and even travel expenses to medical appointments. You will receive wage replacement for the period of temporary disability and possibly also vocational rehabilitation to teach you new skills if you cannot return to your original job.