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Progress made in reporting serious injuries

Starting in January 2015, employers in South Carolina and around the country became required by the U.S. Department of Labor to report any severe work injury within 24 hours of its occurrence. For the 2015 year, there were a total of 10,388 reports, which translates to about 30 a day. Many of these reports represented instances when an employee underwent an amputation or had to be hospitalized. However, armed with the data contained in those reports, it may be possible to make workplaces safer for all employees.

Those who were at the highest risk of injuries requiring hospitalization were in the manufacturing and construction industries. Manufacturing injuries made up 26 percent of reports while construction injuries made up 19 percent. Fortunately, there were many examples of employers who took action after reporting a serious work related injury. For instance, one employer installed metal guards on a conveyor belt after it started while an employee was cleaning it and injured her arm.

However, there are employers who tried to hide violations or failed to report injuries. One employer tried to hide dangerous equipment from OSHA inspectors during a work site inspection. When the equipment was found, it was discovered to have exposed parts that could have caused more injuries. To encourage compliance with the new rules, the fine for failing to report a serious injury was raised from $2,000 to as high as $7,000.

While OSHA investigations are designed to ferret out problems that lead to workplace accidents, injuries continue to take place even when all safety protocols are followed. An employee who is injured in such an accident may want to have legal assistance when applying for workers' compensation benefits.

Philpot Law Firm, PA
115 Broadus Ave.
Greenville, SC 29601

Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Toll Free: 866-853-3497
Phone: 864-990-0226
Phone: 864-990-0226
Fax: 864-242-1566
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