OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, recently issued a new set of guidelines that update the injury reporting procedure for workers and companies. Under the new rules, workers and the public will have more information about potentially hazardous working conditions and employers who violate safety rules.
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New Reporting Procedures
Under the old system, companies rarely had to file information about workplace illness and injures. Workers entered an industry or occupation with limited prior knowledge about the potential hazards, and the government had few tools to establish trends in industry safety practices.
The new procedures radically increase the number of companies who must file annual accident, injury and illness reports that a worker compensation lawyer in Algonquin can use in an injury lawsuit. An expansion of the reporting protocols add almost 500,000 employers to OSHA's injury database, affecting several million workers across the country.
How Do The Rules Affect Workers' Compensation?
OSHA and safety experts predict that an update to the reporting process will have an immediate impact on the cases a workers compensation lawyer in Algonquin, and throughout the country, can handle. The law affects workers' compensation claims in three ways:
- More frequent and transparent reporting procedures expose chronic safety violators to public scrutiny and help a workers compensation lawyer in Algonquin show a pattern of safety negligence by the company during a lawsuit.
- Workers who see the safety ratings of a particular industry or company will be less likely to go to work at that location. Employees will have more complete information when choosing where they want to work, and they will opt out of workplaces that do not place a high value on worker safety.
- Companies will face pressure from the public and shareholders to make safety a priority and limit the cases a workers compensation lawyer in Algonquin can take. No company wants a failing safety grade posted for the entire world to see, and OSHA believes the changes will motivate employers to create safer working environments. Shareholders and investors may see poor safety grades as a lack of good management, prompting a change in leadership.
The latest update to reporting guidelines is a step forward for workers' rights and the protection of employees in the workplace. Once the reporting guidelines go into effect in August, companies will face more public scrutiny and have their safety records examined much more closely.