Louisiana workers as well as their employers may be interested to learn about a new study that shows that inspection citations with penalties reduce workplace injuries. The study was conducted by the Institute for Work and Health.
Researchers reviewed the effectiveness of regulation enforcement by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration in encouraging safety compliance among employers. They found that the general threat of inspection was partially effective in decreasing workplace accidents. However, they discovered that citations and penalties issued by inspectors led to a drop in the frequency and severity of on-the-job injuries. The findings back up several other studies that show injuries drop at work sites in the years following a safety inspection. OSHA recently changed its inspection measures to give greater weight to citations and penalties that have proven most effective in reducing workplace injuries.
Heavier fines are headed for employers in 2016. As a result of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act of 2015, OSHA will be increasing its fines for the first time in 25 years. An OSHA representative said fines will increase an estimated 80 percent when the law takes effect on Jan. 15, 2016.
A Louisiana worker who has been injured on the job may be eligible to apply for workers' compensation benefits, which cover medical expenses and wages lost during recovery. Long-term disability payments may also be available. Workers' compensation claims are time sensitive, so the paperwork should be filed as quickly as possible. In order to ensure their claim is properly prepared, some people choose to seek the assistance of an attorney.
Source: Claims Journal, "Research Finds That OSHA Citations, Penalties Reduce Workplace Injuries," Nov. 23, 2015