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Federal Report Suggests Indiana’s Workplace Agency Is Jeopardizing Worker Safety

Posted on : March 7, 2016
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The role of Indiana’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (IOSHA) is to protect Hoosiers from hazards in the workplace that may cause injury, illness or death. The agency is responsible for setting and enforcing safety standards and regulations for businesses in various industries across the state.  

A new federal monitoring report indicates, however, that IOSHA is failing to adequately protect workers.

Report Findings

  • Failure to identify workplace hazards
  • Insufficient inspections
  • Not enough citations issued for dangerous workplaces
  • Shortage of staff
  • Slow responses to complaints

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time IOSHA has come under fire for their lack of due diligence and disregard for safety. The agency has been understaffed for years and has remained one of the least funded OSHA’s in the U.S.  In fact, funding per worker is the second lowest among the 21 states that run their own OSHA programs.

How IOSHA Compares To National Averages

  • 38 inspectors when there should be 70
  • Takes 14 times longer to investigate claims than the national average which is 5 days.
  • Safety inspections resulted in citations only 33 percent of the time, the national average is more than 70 percent.
    • in many cases no citations were issued despite photographic evidence of workplace hazards that caused amputations, electrical shock and falls.
  • Ranks 14th in the nation in worker fatality rate
  • In 2014, penalties in fatality cases averaged $3,134 — the 11th-lowest amount in the country and well below the national average of $10,640.

Workers’ Compensation Law

Indiana law requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. As an employee, you are covered from the first day you are on the job.

Every year in Indiana, 4 out of 100 workers are injured or killed. Those who work in construction, steel mills or factories have a higher risk of being harmed due to heavy machinery and exposure to hazardous; but accidents happen in various workplace environments.

If you are among those who have suffered an injury or illness resulting from performing the duties of your job, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits paid for by your employer.

These benefits cover the following expenses:

  • Medical: past and future expenses including doctor appointments, hospital bills, prescriptions, etc.
  • Income Replacement: up to two–thirds of your wages or salary.
  • Rehabilitation services provided to help you get back to work or gain employment elsewhere
  • Death: If you lost your spouse to a workplace accident, you and your children may be entitled to benefits.

Consider Contacting an Experienced Workers’ Compensations Attorney Today

No matter where you are in the process — whether you’ve just been injured and need to file a claim or your claim has been denied, Sarkisian Law can help. Our veteran workers’ compensation attorneys have spent over 30 years fighting for the rights of injured workers.

Contact the Sarkisian Law Offices at (219) 942-7171 to schedule a free case evaluation. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Posted in : Leon Sarkisian

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