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OSHA changing ways injuries are reported

South Carolina employers and employees should be aware of the impending institution of new OSHA rules governing workplace injury reporting. These rules, which begin to pass into effect on Aug. 10, will change the way that workers tell their employers about harm resulting from workplace issues and the way that those business owners tell the government about it.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA, has brought in a new set of rules governing recordkeeping for workplace injuries. Injuries will have to be reported to OSHA, which will publish records of them on a publicly accessible web site. They also wish to encourage employees to report injuries correctly and promptly.

Many of these new provisions to the rules are meant to prevent employers from retaliating against their employees for reporting workplace injuries or violations of safety regulations. There will also be rules that strengthen protections for disadvantaged workers in the workplace, including those who might face discrimination. These rule changes are being phased in gradually so that the companies will have the maximum time to adjust.

If an employer can be demonstrated to have been responsible for illegal activity or some sort of OSHA violation that led to a workplace injury, then they may be held responsible for all damages resulting from the injury. Denial of workplace responsibility for all or part of the injury, recalcitrance with filing paperwork for workers' compensation or simply denying the occupational connection with the workplace at all can be met with a civil suit demanding redress. An attorney could help with the legal technicalities required by a civil suit, or they may also be able to negotiate with the company for increased compensation.

Source Web Link: National Law Review, "Compliance Date Nears for OSHA's New Recordkeeping Anti-Retaliation Rule", Nickole Winnett, 07/05/2016

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