Wisconsin is one of the states that is governed by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration programs in contrast to states that have their own programs. This means that since January 1, 2015, employers in the state of Wisconsin have also been subject to new reporting regulations for serious injuries. In the first year, there were 2,644 work-related amputations and 7,636 work-related hospitalizations reported.
OSHA put the new reporting requirements in place with the aim of reducing injuries by forcing employers to look more closely at their own processes. The reporting requires a level of self-scrutiny that an OSHA site visit, inspection and report did not. OSHA reports that while many employers seem eager to comply and are taking additional steps beyond those required to make their workplaces safe, up to 50 percent of companies may still be failing to report serious injuries.
Industries with the highest number of amputations were manufacturing and construction. Workers in the construction, transportation, warehousing and manufacturing industries had the highest number of hospitalizations. OSHA noted that the new reporting guidelines also allowed them to be more efficient with its resources since it was not required to do as many on-site inspections.
People who are injured or hospitalized due to a workplace accident or an illness related to the job may be eligible for workers’ compensation. Unfortunately, some employees may not understand their rights in a situation like this, might face retaliation from an employer or may have their claim denied. An attorney may be able to assist the employee in these situations by explaining their rights and what constitutes retaliation. For example, an employer is not permitted to demote or terminate an employee for filing for workers’ compensation. An attorney also may be able to help in appealing a denial.