With the day-in, day-out routines Massachusetts residents regularly find ourselves in, they rarely, if ever, fully consider the dangers present around them. This is true whether we are driving, working or enjoying a nice meal out. Most of the time, our days conclude without incident. Sometimes though, negligence on the part of others cause serious accidents that leave Massachusetts' residents severely harmed.
Our last post on the blog discussed conciliation and how it may be a favorable route for Massachusetts residents seeking a workers' compensation settlement. Conciliation may save you a significant amount of time, and the process may be less adversarial. However, as mentioned last week, it is critical that Massachusetts residents do not enter into conciliation without fully knowing your legal rights and the amount of compensation to which you are entitled.
This blog devotes a significant portion of its time to discussing workers' compensation issues and how they can affect Massachusetts' workers. This is certainly important, but it is also important to realize that the law is in a constant state of flux. What was the rule yesterday could be changed today. Therefore, it is important to know when and how the law changes so that those who have been injured on the job can protect their rights to the fullest extent possible.
Massachusetts residents who are injured on the job have a lot to contend with. Sure, they might have to find a way to make ends meet without their weekly income, but they might also have to find a way to pay for their medical expenses. This can be extremely difficult, particularly when an injured worker is the sole wage-earner in a family. For this reason, it is imperative that those who have suffered a work-related injury seek out workers' compensation benefits.
Last week's blog post discussed employers' responsibilities as they relate to OSHA regulations. These regulations are meant to uphold certain standards to ensure workplace safety. Though many employers adhere to these requirements, many others fail to do so for a variety of reasons. Sometimes an employer is uninformed, sometimes it tries to cut costs by sacrificing safety, and sometimes an employer just outright refuses to comply with safety standards. When this happens, you could be put at serious risk of harm, the results of which could be devastating.
If people work in the state of Massachusetts, or any other state for that matter, then they are likely protected by regulations created and enforced by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, also known as OSHA. This agency creates responsibilities that employers must abide by in order to ensure their workers are kept safe. Failure to do so could result in fines, but also significant harm to employees.
The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) investigates in two ways: off-site and on-site. You are free to file a claim at any time, however, if you want an on-site OSHA investigation of your place of employment, then one of a list of criteria must be met. Amongst these criteria are a signed complaint that satisfactorily illustrates that a violation or danger threatens the physical safety of employees, a claim that alleges that physical injury has been suffered and the hazard that caused it still exists, a report that imminent danger exists, the employer against which a claim has been filed has a history of OSHA violations within the previous three years, and a claim that is referred from a whistle blower investigation, amongst others.
It is an unfortunate reality that many Massachusetts residents work in dangerous professions. Construction workers, factory employees, and police officers can all face real threats in the form of heights, moving vehicles, machines, repetitive stress, and other dangerous individuals. When an individual is hurt on the job, he or she may be left with significant physical and financial harm. The good news is that an injured worker can seek to recoup some of his or her financial losses through the workers' compensation system.