In previous posts, our blog has discussed how injured workers here in Maryland should know that their ability to secure work comp benefits under their employer's work comp insurance depends upon whether they meet rather precise requirements set forth under state law.
In a previous post, we discussed how even though the possibility of suffering serious work injuries is the last thing on the minds of most employees, they nevertheless occur on a regular -- and somewhat stunning -- basis.
From drafting a report and making client phone calls to manning a station on the assembly line and putting pallets where they belong, most employees -- regardless of their chosen field -- have only one concern during the typical workday: completing their assigned duties. In other words, the last thing on their minds is the possibility of suffering a serious work injury.
Maryland employees may be interested to learn about a May 2016 rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regarding drug testing following a workplace accident. The rule, which was implemented under the name 'Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses," requires employers in certain industries to submit injury and illness data to OSHA electronically and could affect future workers' compensation claims, according to news reports.
When Maryland workers are injured on the job in Maryland, both they and their employer experience financial losses. Injured workers loses income while they are recovering from their injuries, and the worker's employer loses productivity. Financial losses from work-related accidents may be reduced if employers take steps to assess risks and create safer workplaces.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a safety campaign to remind employers in Maryland and around the country about the dangers of working outdoors during the summer months. Heat issues were responsible for the deaths of 18 workers in 2014 according to OSHA data, and more than 2,600 others suffered a heat-related illness of some kind. The federal workplace safety agency is urging employers to pay particular attention to their training and orientation programs, as many of its heat-related investigations involve workers with just a few days of on-the-job experience.
If a person in Maryland consumes alcohol before they go to work, they could be injured on the job as a result of their intoxication. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to record alcohol-related injuries if the injuries are severe enough that they require more treatment than simple first aid.
Employers in Maryland face potentially severe penalties if they run afoul of workplace safety regulations, and checking records for accuracy is often among the first steps taken by OSHA inspectors. Employers hoping to avoid fines or other sanctions must keep track of workplace injuries and illnesses if they are considered recordable under OSHA regulations, but employers are sometimes unclear about the line of demarcation.
In many types of jobs in Maryland and throughout the nation, occupational skin disorders can be problematic for both employers and their employees. In fact, according to a recent report from the Journal of the American Medical Association, employers can lose about 24 days and nearly $3,500 in workers' compensation claims from a single employee suffering from work-related dermatitis. However, there are ways to prevent occupational skin disorders from occurring at the workplace.
It is expected that many ride sharing companies will start treating their contracted workers like employees in the near future. A number of businesses that have started up recently depend on independent contractors. The best known examples are probably Lyft and Uber, which are riding sharing companies that allow individuals who work for them to determine their own hours.