It was reported on November 30 that OSHA’s attempts to mandate employers to report on work fatalities and certain serious injuries lack the guidance needed on how to pinpoint and prevent underreporting. This was according to the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General in a semiannual report to Congress.
The November 2018 report included many of the same recommendations that were included in another report by the OIG on the Department of Labor’s most pressing challenges for performance.
The semiannual report stated that OSHA needs to work harder to target the worst and most common violators and provide better protection for vulnerable worker populations. For such targeting to be effective, OSHA should address serious issues that relate to injury underreporting by companies.
OIG also voiced concern about the inability of the agency to measure the effects of its policies and programs, as well as the 28 OSHA-approved State Plans. It noted that some employers are failing to correct workplace hazards that were cited.
In 2015, OSHA altered its regulations to require companies and employers to report worker deaths and certain injuries in certain periods of time. Since December 2015, OSHA has issued in excess of 400 citations every six months for failure to report or late reporting.
It has been determined that OSHA lacks the controls to be sure that it had all of the information needed on the number of work-related deaths and severe injuries. In the course of the review, it was found that up to 50% of severe injuries were not reported.
There is little doubt that better reporting of worker injuries will support a safer work environment for all Americans. Still, there can be difficulties in obtaining the benefits you deserve in case of a workplace injury.
Challenges in Obtaining Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Georgia
The above report reflects the realities on the ground in Georgia. It is not always easy to get the benefits to which injured Georgia workers are entitled. Keep in mind that the first step for a successful claim in Georgia is to tell your employer about your work-related injury in writing or by word of mouth. This must occur within 30 days or you could give up your right to compensation.
Also, you need to file Form WC-14 with the State Board in Georgia and send a copy to your company and the provider of its workers’ comp insurance.
In some cases, even if you follow all the rules, your workers’ compensation claim can be denied. If you are denied workers’ compensation, you can ask for a hearing in front of the State Board of Workers Compensation. This hearing will be in front of an administrative law judge. Your company will be represented by a lawyer, and you should be represented by a skilled Georgia worker’s compensation attorney as well. The Mann Law Firm can assist you if you are facing problems getting workers’ compensation or need to appeal a denial of benefits.
Were You Hurt At Work? Talk to A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today.
The Mann Law Firm has decades of experience representing injured workers in their workers’ comp claims. Without proper legal representation, you may not be able to get the full compensation to which you are legally entitled. Please contact our offices today.