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Is Your Employer Trying to Dodge Workplace Injury Reporting Regulations?

No one wants to think that their employer would not meet its obligation to its employees. But some employers fail to follow the laws related to reporting workplace injuries. A study completed by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) found that as many as 50% of severe injuries go unreported. Under the law, which went into effect January of 2015, employers are required to report any work-related hospitalization, amputation or eye loss within 24 hours of the incident. But this doesn't seem to be happening in many cases.

In compliance with this law, in 2015, 10,000 injuries were reported, with over 7,000 hospitalizations and nearly 3,000 amputations. Manufacturing led the pack in reports, with construction not falling far behind. But with so many serious injuries going unreported, it is hard to fully grasp the dangers in the workplace. What needs to be done to reduce severe injury and make workplaces safer for their employees?

While some non-reporting could be explained by smaller companies not knowing the rules have changed, others are actively trying to conceal accidents.

According to the report one employer went as far as to close off an entire production line. They put forklifts in front of the door as they told the employees to be quiet, to avoid having inspectors find the concealed equipment that had been responsible for several finger amputations.

According to The New York Times, last year, Ashley Furniture, one of the world's largest furniture manufactures, faced a $1.7 million lawsuit in connection with work conditions in an Arcadia, Wisconsin plant that led to over 1,000 injuries.

Those who do report severe injuries will have their facilities investigated by an outside investigator 38% of the time, according to the report. In the case of the other 62%, it is upon the employer to investigate and implement changes. Failing to report can result in a fine of between $1,000. and $7,000.

Not all employers are dodging this very important responsibility to the safety of their employees. Many are evaluating reports, considering work conditions and causes and taking steps to make the workplace safer. This is ultimately the goal of these types of laws.Seeing workplace improvements after a serious accident indicate that your employer is taking workplace safety and the law seriously.

Failing to report severe injury is a serious infraction. Not taking steps to prevent future injury is unacceptable. These laws, workers' compensation and social security disability are in place to help improve work conditions to prevent injuries and to compensate those who have been injured. Together, we can make workplaces safer.

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