According to a report, about 117,000 members of the Ohio workforce suffered an injury or illness in 2017 due to workplace hazards. This level of occupational injury highlights how necessary the state's workers' compensation program is to employees. Workers rely on these benefits to fill the gap when an illness or injury takes them away from their jobs.
As you no doubt are aware, working for a living can sometimes be hazardous to your health and well-being. From workplace accidents to dangerous chemical exposure, nearly all work opportunities come with at least some amount of risk. The workers' compensation program exists to protect employees against the financial hardships that accompany a work injury or illness. Some of these benefits include:
Workplace accidents typically result in only minor injuries. Unfortunately, sometimes these incidents leave a worker suffering from total disability. In some cases, the disability may be permanent, but in many others, injured workers will recover enough to return to work.
Of all the health risks present in a workplace, exposure to toxic substances is perhaps the most insidious. In many cases, workers cannot even see these substances, making it difficult to protect themselves from exposure. Further, unbeknownst to workers, toxic hazards exist in many industries -- even those that may seem very safe. Following is a partial list of substances that could cause health problems.
Everyone agrees that workers' compensation is a wonderful program. The sense of security it brings to Ohio workers is superseded only by the actual benefits of the program. Some of these benefits include medical treatment for work injuries, income replacement and access to prescription medication. All of these benefits come at no cost to the injured worker.
Most Ohio residents would agree that suffering a workplace injury is quite traumatic. Now imagine learning that your workers' compensation claim has been denied. Experiencing a denial of the benefits you rightfully deserve can make an already troubling situation much worse. Without workers' comp benefits you will have to pay for your own medical care. You will also not receive compensation for any work missed due to your injury.
The manufacturing industry exposes workers to multiple safety hazards. This was underscored by the fines of more than $250,000 that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposed after completing two inspections at the facility of a plastics manufacturer in Ohio. Injuries related to electrical hazards and defective industrial machines make up a significant percentage of workers' compensation claims every year.
Government statistics and researchers indicate that nursing assistants are part of one of the most hazardous profession in the country. According to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, almost 10,000 claims were filed by employees of nursing homes during the past five years. Approximately one-third of those followed injuries caused by overexertion.
The recent death of a forklift operator in a workplace accident in the Fuyao plant underscored the increased occupational fatality rate in Ohio. Although some suggest that the improved economy causes fatigue, stress and overexertion, ultimately leading to fatalities, safety authorities say compliance with regulations can prevent most workplace deaths. No family is prepared for the news of a loved one's death due to an on-the-job accident. However, their unanticipated financial burden can be eased by the workers' compensation insurance system.
One of the primary hazards in the manufacturing and warehousing industries is the presence of forklifts. These mechanized lift trucks pose a danger to those who operate them and any other workers in the vicinity. A significant number of workers' compensation claims nationwide, including Ohio, follow forklift-related injuries, some of which prove to be fatal.