Two years ago, a battery recycler about 30 miles southeast of Columbus agreed to reduce workers’ exposure to dangerous concentrations of highly toxic airborne carcinogens. Inhalation of lead or cadmium can cause workplace illnesses, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says, including cancer, central nervous system damage, kidney disease and damage to respiratory and reproductive systems.
Despite the recycler’s agreement, OSHA recently cited the company for repeat violations and proposed fines totaling $74,250. Workers there and in other companies with track records of safety violations might well wonder if those violations can result in additional Ohio workers’ compensation benefits.
We won’t speculate if circumstances at the battery recycling plant would qualify a worker harmed by toxin exposure to additional benefits. But we know that employees in certain lines of work — especially jobs involving heavy equipment — are protected by specific safety rules (SSR). The rules require companies to take certain steps to ensure the workplace is “as safe as possible,” an Ohio Supreme Court justice recently wrote.
If a company violates an SSR, the injured employee can file for an additional workers’ comp award. The worker must show that there was an applicable SSR, that it was violated and that the violation resulted in his or her injury.
Experienced workers’ comp attorneys can assess the circumstances of your workplace injury or illness — including possible SSR violations — and help you pursue full compensation.
At Morgan & Justice, our attorneys are dedicated to helping you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled. Please see Maximizing Your Compensation to learn more about how our Columbus law firm can serve you.