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Jerome, Gibson, Stewart, Stevenson, Engle & Runbeck, P.C.
Helping Injured Workers In Arizona Since 1973

OSHA attempts to decrease work accidents by increasing citations

For Arizona employees who are involved in serious accidents on the job, workers' compensation is there to make sure the injured get the benefits they need to help pay for medical care and time missed at work. However, it's always better to avoid work accidents in the first place. To that end, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently increased its citation structure by a whopping 80 percent.

This increase gives employers even more motivation to make sure safety precautions and regulations are in place to help ensure the well-being of workers. OSHA also works to ensure that employees are able to easily report workplace illnesses and injury without fear of repercussion from employers. To this end, they have implemented three new anti-retaliation provisions.

Employers are required to inform their workers of the right to report all work-related illnesses and injuries by including it in the employee handbook and by posting the "Job Safety and Health – It's the Law" poster. Furthermore, employers are not allowed to discourage the reporting of any work accidents or injuries and must be reasonably accommodating to such reports. While employers are allowed to discipline employees who violate established safety regulations, they are not allowed to take retaliatory action – such as termination -- against an employee simply for informing supervisors of an incident or pursing workers' compensation.

Employers are allowed to offer employee safety incentive programs, as long as the programs only encourage safe work practices and do not discourage employees from reporting injuries. No matter how closely regulations are followed and how careful employees are, however, work accidents do still happen. Thankfully, when an on-the-job injury or illness occurs, Arizona workers can turn to the professional guidance of a workers' compensation attorney who can help them fight for the full amount of benefits they'll need to help cover medical treatment and lost wages during their recovery.

Source: bizjournals.com, "OSHA changes rule on tracking workplace injuries and illnesses", Woody Hill, Aug. 27, 2017

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