There are many workplace accidents in Ohio every year. There are many different causes for these accidents and many different outcomes. Sometimes the workers may just need to clean up a mess or receive minor medical treatment. However, many others result in severe injuries for the workers involved. In these situations, it is very important that the workers receive the proper workers’ compensation benefits. The proper amount can include an additional award though if there was an employer violation of specific safety requirement (VSSR).
Injured workers may be entitled to this if the employer violated a safety precaution that is ordered by law and that violation led to the accident and subsequent injuries. However, in order to receive this additional award the worker must apply for it and go through the process.
The worker must first fill out an application for the additional award and file it with the commission. Once they receive the application, they will mail it to the employer along with a notice that if they find there is a violation that the employer will be billed directly for the additional award. The employer then has 30 days to file their answer.
The commission will then start an investigation into the application, unless there was a strict legal requirement missing in the application such as it was not filed within the time limits or did not refer a specific safety requirement that was violated. After the investigation is complete, the results of the investigation will be sent to the employee and employer. Then a pretrial hearing will be scheduled in the matter. Then if the matter does not settle at the pretrial, a hearing will be set for determining if there was a violation or not. After that hearing a binding decision will be made in the matter.
There are many safety requirements that employers must follow in Ohio. For many different reasons though, certain employers may fail to follow these requirements. If they do not, injured employees may be able to receive an additional award above workers’ compensation benefits. They must go through the legal process to obtain this award though and consulting with an experienced attorney may be useful.