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Georgia Workers Compensation and OSHA - How Are They Similar?

OSHA's Mission is to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing safety standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance to employers and employees.

Georgia workers compensation, on the other hand, is responsible for providing Medical Care at no cost to you if you are injured on the job and possibly a weekly check to replace your income.

OSHA has the responsibility of establishing specific safety guidelines to hopefully reduce workplace injuries, while Georgia workers compensation provides medical care and potential weekly checks to workers if they are injured on the job.

How Are They Different?

OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, a part of the United States Department of Labor. OSHA was created by Federal Law, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.

Georgia Workers' Compensation claims are regulated by laws passed by the Georgia legislature, not Federal Law. Georgia Workers' compensation claims are overseen by the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation, a Georgia Administrative Agency.

OSHA inspects and works to improve workplace safety through inspections, enforcing safety standards and, in some case, assessing fines or sanctions for unsafe workplace practices. Workers' Compensation benefits, however, provide medical care and possible weekly paychecks, if you are injured in an on-the-job accident. OSHA tries to improve workplace safety. Workers' Compensation laws require your employer to provide you with medical care if you are injured on the job.

Workplace injuries still happen

According to OSHA data from 2014, 4821 workers were killed on the job nationally, including 152 workplace deaths in Georgia. According to OSHA, this is the highest annual total since 2008.

According to data published by Georgia State Board of workers compensation, there were 140,216 work injury claims in 2014 in which medical care and or weekly checks were provided to seriously injured workers. That works out to more than 384 claims per day in Georgia alone.

OSHA's top 10 most frequently cited safety violations in fiscal year 2015

1. Fall protection, construction

2. Hazard communication standard, general industry

3. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction

4. Respiratory protection, general industry

5. Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry

6. Powered industrial trucks, general industry

7. Ladders, construction

8. Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry

9. Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements

10. Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry

Whether your accident made it onto OSHA's list or not, you are entitled to receive Medical Care and potential wage replacement benefits if you are injured on the job in Georgia.

Why is this important?

You may find that the friendly relationship you had with your employer before your workplace injury suddenly changes after your workplace injury. Your employer is running a business and protecting their bottom-line will always be their top priority, not helping you get the expensive medical care you need to recover from your accident.

Georgia workers compensation law can be quite complex and if you are relying on your employer to protect you when you are vulnerable may leave you with no benefits at all. There are many moving parts to a workers' compensation claim and no claim is a straightforward as it may seem. it is important to consult with and secure help from an experienced workers compensation attorney to insure your rights are protected and that you receive all benefits provided by Georgia law.

Your attorney can also help you connect with a doctor who is familiar with Workers' Compensation claims, knows how to best treat your injury and to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible. Your employer has insurance company lawyers, who have handled hundred of claims, fighting to protect your employer, not you. Be sure you hire a lawyer who has also handled hundreds of claims who will fight to protect you.

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