Each day, an average of 13 people die in workplace accidents, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. Each year, about 4 million workers are injured on the job, and some never recover from their workplace injuries.
OSHA is the federal agency that promulgates safety rules to help prevent workplace injuries. OSHA also investigates allegations of unsafe workplaces as well as workplace accidents. Almost all employers in the United States are required to comply with OSHA rules and regulations. Failure to do so can lead to hefty fines and penalties or even a mandatory shut-down order.
Employers should pay close attention to OSHA requirements that relate to record-keeping and reporting of workplace accidents. Employers who are not exempt from the requirement, must record work-related injuries and illnesses from Feb. 1 through April 30 on OSHA Form 300 and submit the summary to OSHA as well as post a summary of those records on Form 300A. All current and former employees have a right to a copy of the summary upon request. While employers should keep a record of all workplace accidents and illnesses for internal record-keeping purposes, the purpose of the OSHA requirement is to help the agency keep track of and study workplace accident trends and safety issues.
Employers can check the OSHA website to determine whether they must comply with the record-keeping procdedure. Employers that must fill out the forms and summary are required to report such incidents as:
- Workplace fatalities
- Injuries that result in days missed from work
- Injuries or illnesses that are diagnosed by a physician
As an employee, you may wish to review your employer’s summary to get a better idea of your employer’s safety record. In addition, workers should always confirm that an employer is properly reporting any kind of injury or illness for workers’ compensation purposes.
Massachusetts workers who are injured on the job are typically entitled to benefits through the Massachusetts workers’ compensation system. Normally, your employer will report an injury or illness to insurance carrier A worker can self-report an injury or illness. But if your employer has a history of not properly reporting injuries or illnesses, this could be a sign that the employer does not have the proper workers’ compensation coverage or is trying to minimize its exposure with its insurance provider.
If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness in Massachusetts, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If you are concerned about your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage, ask an experienced Massachusetts workplace injury attorney what you should do. Contact the workplace injury lawyers at Kantrovitz & Associates, P.C., by calling 800-367-0871 or using our online contact form.