Sometimes it can feel like employees are at a disadvantage to their employers. It seems like the employers set the rules, all the conditions and in return, the employee gets paid. While in theory, it may be a little unbalanced, employees do have rights in terms of worker safety and wellness. Oversights, in terms of workplace safety, can cause a worker to become injured.

Where does an injured worker turn? In Ohio, a state law related to a VSSR, a violation of specific safety equipment, can be an ‘add on’ to any workers’ compensation claim that worker may have after suffering injury. The state authorizes the Industrial Commission of Ohio (also known as the IC) to grant additional awards to an injured worker or their family when a workers’ compensation injury, illness or death results from an employer’s violation of specific safety equipment. This additional award ranges from 15 percent to 50 percent of the maximum allowable weekly compensation rate granted to the injured worker.

Essentially, if a worker was injured or even killed on the job due to an employer’s failure to use specific safety equipment, this is deemed as a more severe instance of workplace injury or death. The Ohio state code essentially notes that the blame is somewhat placed on the employer of the injured or prematurely killed employee. These damages can really help an injured worker while they are unable to work and to earn wage and also their family in an instance in which they are killed. Since this is a state-regulated program, this specific workers’ benefit is not always available in other states in which a worker is injured due to VSSR.

This program does not necessarily account for any negligence that may or may not be suspected on an employer. Rather, it gives those injured in workplace accidents, related to lack of safety equipment, another means in which to collect for their misfortune. Employers are required to keep their employees safe in many ways. An inability to provide the proper safety equipment could be even further monies awarded to the injured worker and their family.