Preventing personal injury at work; who's responsible?

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Preventing personal injury at work; who's responsible?

Preventing personal injury at work is an employer’s responsibility mandated by the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA); a federal law that requires employers to provide a safe working environment for its employees. In addition to OSHA, employers in 47 states are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to guarantee that employees who experience personal injury at work are financially covered for any costs associated with their injuries.

Employees injured during the course of their employment are eligible for benefits under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation benefits for employees who withstand personal injury at work cover: total disability; impairment benefits, benefits for temporary or permanent partial disability based on duration of the impairment (Gomez-Mejia, Balkin & Cardy, 2010); survivor benefits and benefits to cover medical expenses.

Employees beware, increasing workers’ compensation claims have made it necessary for employers to do more to not only prevent personal injury at work but to investigate claims from employees to validate they are legitimate.

Workers’ compensation is considered a ‘no fault’ system, meaning that it is not always necessary for employees to prove that the personal injury at work was a result of the employer’s negligence. And in most cases even the employees own negligence does not remove employer liability.



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