OSHA says workers' compensation system is failing workers

In most cases, employers in Alabama are required by law to carry insurance to cover injuries or illnesses that you and your co-workers might sustain on the job. It does not matter who is at fault; your medical costs and a portion of your wages should be covered. At the Sapp Law Firm, we understand that many legal complications can develop as a result of a work-related health problem.

According to a report recently issued by the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the workers' compensation program is not the failsafe system it was originally intended to be. In fact, based on accidents reported to OSHA by employers and corresponding workers' compensation cases, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics determined that many injured employees never file for the benefits they are entitled to receive by law. While this may happen for a variety of reasons, many employees are simply not informed of their rights.

You may face a barrier to benefits if you have been hired as an independent contractor rather than a wage employee. Companies who do this are not held to the same standards, so the workplace may be less safe, and the training provided may be inadequate. The circumstances are similar for those who are hired by a contractor to work at a jobsite owned by a third party, which is particularly common in construction.

If your employer does not provide you with access to worker’s compensation benefits, other options may be available to you to cover the costs of medical bills and lost wages, depending on the situation. However, a company that does have workers’ compensation insurance should never create barriers to medical treatment. More information about workplace injuries is available on our website.

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