Think that because your last Minnesota workman's comp insurance case was successfully addressed, and your injured worker is back on the job, you’re safe against liability? If you haven’t addressed the conditions that resulted in the injury, you could still be liable for safety violations.
An ounce of prevention
Employers in industries where safety is a concern must establish a safety committee tasked with addressing safety issues and violations internally. Most importantly, employees must be positively encouraged to report such issues, knowing their concerns will be taken seriously and immediately addressed. In these instances, a fear-based culture is the enemy, as it could lead to OSHA whistleblower reports, which carry heavy penalties.
A wise investment
Though addressing safety violations costs time and money, this is far preferable to OSHA whistleblower lawsuits and the injury or death of employees. Unfortunately, not all employers feel this way, leading to the creation of more than 20 whistleblower statutes protecting employees who report safety violations from retaliation. Those found in violation of these acts are liable for penalties ranging from injunctions to punitive damages and heavy legal fines.
Don’t play the numbers game
Every year, the number of whistleblower complaints received by OSHA increases. Fiscal year 2015 saw 3,288 whistleblower cases, a dramatic rise from the 1,934 cases filed in 2005. Even more telling, the cases of whistleblowers receiving a settlement or award has also risen substantially, from 397 in 2005 to 843 in 2015, respectively. Are your ears open to the concerns of your employees?
Come out on the right side of Minnesota workman's comp insurance. Enlist the expert help of a Minnesota Comp Advisor today.