When an employer overlooks a specific safety requirement and a worker is injured, there may be different protections for injured workers to consider and that they will want to be familiar with. One option is to file a claim for an employer Violation of Specific Safety Requirement (VSSR).
A VSSR claim is an additional award that can be awarded as part of the workers’ compensation claim process. To make a claim for a VSSR, the injured worker should include it on the form for workers’ compensation benefits within two years of suffering the workplace injury, the initial diagnosis of an occupational illness or death of the worker because of a workplace injury or illness. The form must be filed with an Industrial Commission of Ohio’s regional office in Columbus or another customer service office in Ohio.
Once the claim has been made, the Industrial Commission of Ohio will notify all of the parties involved after it receives VSSR applications. The employer is required to respond to the alleged Violation of Specific Safety Requirement within 30 days of being notified of it. The process then includes an investigation, settlement process, possible hearing and possible determination by the Industrial Commission of Ohio. It is important to keep in mind that there are different resources available to workers in different circumstances in Ohio that can also include workers’ compensation and third-party injury claims.
The Industrial Commission of Ohio has the authority to grant an additional award, ranging from 15 percent to 50 percent of the worker’s maximum allowable weekly compensation, when a worker has been injured or suffered an illness or death because of an employer’s VSSR. This is in addition to the worker’s regular workers’ compensation benefits which is why it is important workers who have been harmed on the job in Ohio to be familiar with how to apply for workers’ compensation benefits and a VSSR award when they may be eligible to receive one.