Employers in North Carolina are generally required to report workplace fatalities and significant injuries to OSHA. However, according to the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (OIG), there needs to be more done to ensure that underreporting does not occur. The report found that some employers are not fixing errors and that some companies are repeat offenders. According to the OIG, a representative of OSHA said that up to 50 percent of incidents are not reported.
It was revealed that OSHA had made 400 citations on a semiannual basis since December 2015. However, the OIG says that it doesn’t know if OSHA has the ability or the resources to provide proper oversight of its rules. OSHA was not the only agency that was scolded in the report. The Mine Safety and Health Administration was mentioned regarding a potential lack of oversight as it relates to the mining industry.
Specifically, there are concerns over how MSHA logs and responds to complaints of hazardous mine environments. The OIG report called into question its ability to oversee emergency plans created by coal mine operators as well as its ability to close mines if working conditions are especially hazardous there. Finally, the report would like to see the MSHA take action regarding cases of black lung.
Individuals who are injured at work might be able to apply for workers’ compensation benefits. This allows them to get compensated for any medical bills incurred because of muscle strains, broken bones or head injuries experienced on the job. Generally speaking, employers allow their workers to come back after a workplace injury, but there is no guarantee that this will happen in a given case. An attorney could help an injured employee navigate the workers’ comp filing process.