In our last post, we highlighted the increasing penalties OSHA has instituted for employers who fail to report instances where injured workers are hospitalized for on the job injuries and the possible reasoning behind those increases. We also discussed the pressure that some employees may feel as they question whether to report health and safety violations that may have led to their injuries.
Some workers may want to wait for ADOSH (Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health) to conduct an investigation to substantiate their claims. However, it may be a mistake to wait on investigators to look in on one’s claim. This post will briefly explain why.
Essentially, ADOSH does not have inspectors to evaluate every business in a particular industry (especially construction); which means that they also don’t have enough investigators to investigate every workplace accident. Generally speaking, it investigates accidents that it is required to review; which includes instances where several employees were hospitalized or when a worker is killed.
Where workers’ compensation is concerned, investigations are important in determining whether a civil lawsuit may be filed against the employer or a responsible third party. Under Arizona law, workers’ compensation is generally the exclusive remedy available to injured workers. However, in limited instances, such as when negligence occurs, an injured worker may seek a civil remedy that will entail monetary damages that exceed workers’ compensation benefits.
So if you have been injured in a workplace accident and wonder if an ADOSH investigation will bolster your claim for benefits (or a civil lawsuit), it is worth consulting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.