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Workplace accident reporting weakened by rule change

Today, Congress rolled back a rule that relates to record-keeping practices for business and companies when a worker is injured or a workplace accident occurs. Without getting into the politics of the decision, let's just look at what the rule change means and how it relates to workers compensation and litigation against companies in the wake of a workplace accident.

Before today, the rule stated that any company could be fined by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for a five year period if they failed to keep appropriate records of workplace injuries and accidents. The rule before that said the time frame for fining companies was six months -- which is the rule Congress reinstated today.

With a smaller window to fine companies for their lack of record-keeping, it now makes it more difficult for regulatory bodies -- and, particularly, OSHA -- to keep negligent companies in check. Rolling back this rule could increase the number of workplace injuries and accidents across the U.S. and, adding insult to injury, make it more difficult for such accidents and injuries to be accurately reported.

Many people all across the country work hard every day. They may work in difficult industries with dangerous equipment, and they give it their all every time they clock in. When dangerous conditions or unsafe work conditions cause them harm, workers' compensation is there to financially help them with their recovery and to allow them and their family to know they have support during a difficult time.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Congress Nullifies Obama Workplace Injury Reporting Rule," March 24, 2017

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