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Always Report Injuries In The Workplace

By Madison Carter

An industrial manufacturing business failed to report injuries sustained to its workers on the job, and subsequently was in danger of having $525,000 in fines levied against them. An investigation by the Board revealed that the manufacturer failed to report no fewer than 21 employee injuries within the mandated time period. The law states that such reports must be filed within 10 days of the accident.

The plastics firm was formally requested to deliver proof in court that it had indeed complied with state law by properly disclosing these injuries to the Board. However, evidence showed that several cases were a year old and still hadn’t been reported properly, far surpassing the ten day limit. This was, apparently, the first time such discipline had been meted out.

The Board’s lawyers concluded from their research of the law that there had been no instance where a company had been penalized for the under-reporting of job-related injuries since that alternative became possible when the law went into effect in 1944. Even one of the manufacturer’s lawyers searched for any other case like this and couldn’t find one. This was a lawyer who actually specialized in Worker’s Compensation Law.

None of the members of the board has yet made any comment pertaining to the allegations. The plastic manufacturer, and specifically the HR manager, are looking forward to the hearing in hopes that it will bring a close to the issue. They are hoping for an impartial assessment of all of the facts presented thus far, as well the chance to clarify the underlying situation.

Accusations by the unions representing the workers are that the company intentionally withheld the injury reports from both the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Workers’ Compensation Board. A lot of people, though, consider what the company is doing as an attempt to cheat the system for their own financial gain. If the employee was out of work for an extended period of time due to the injury, the company paid their medical expenses and for time lost.

The problem comes in when the company doesn’t report the incident and therefore avoid the cost of compensating a worker whose injuries may continue to recur for many years after the initial accident, as well as getting out of an inspection. The plastic manufacturer filed 60 cases dating back to 1994 after the union accused the company of cheating the system. It was determined that in some of those cases, it was the company’s failure to correctly interpret the law that caused the delay.

The company will be assessed a $2,500 fine for each injury that went unreported for more than ten days, if in fact the Board determines that the business broke the law. The company may even have charges brought against them. The Criminal Fraud Unit of the Attorney General’s office was notified by the Workers’ Compensation Board on the pending charges.

The number of cases and size of the investigation continues to grow as time goes on, including four workers who lost fingers or parts of their fingers while working at the plant.

A former employee has alleged in a $350,000 lawsuit that the firm canceled her health insurance while she was on Workers’ Compensation as they at the same time were taking her payments for the premiums.

It was announced by the Director of the United Steelworkers of America that based on what their union had discovered at one of the plants they were calling for a corporate-wide investigation of the company. This investigation will also affect the four plants located in Indiana and Illinois.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Carter, Madison "Always Report Injuries In The Workplace." Always Report Injuries In The Workplace. 7 Oct. 2010. uberarticles.com. 30 Dec 2014 <http://uberarticles.com/legal/always-report-injuries-in-the-workplace/>.

APA Style Citation:
Carter, M (2010, October 7). Always Report Injuries In The Workplace. Retrieved December 30, 2014, from http://uberarticles.com/legal/always-report-injuries-in-the-workplace/

Chicago Style Citation:
Carter, Madison "Always Report Injuries In The Workplace" uberarticles.com. http://uberarticles.com/legal/always-report-injuries-in-the-workplace/


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