You may be wondering what a VSSR is and how it affects you as an Ohio employer. The revised Ohio Code states that a violation of a Specific Safety Requirement (VSSR) is the responsibility of every Ohio employer to provide a safe workplace for their employees and to follow all safety regulations. security. If an employer does not meet any of the safety requirements, they could be hit with an VSSR. And, if the VSSR is found to be valid, an injured employee would be eligible for additional compensation – paid directly out of the employer’s pocket!
How is it determined that a VSSR has occurred?
Three conditions must be met before it is determined that an injury is the result of an VSSR. In order to receive additional compensation, an investigation is conducted by the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) and then the injured worker must prove that:
The security requirement was both specific and enforceable;
The employer was not in compliance with the safety requirement at the time of the accident; and
The employer’s failure to meet the requirement was the immediate cause of the injury.
Remember that the onus of responsibility does not fall entirely on the employer. Workers are also required to correctly use the safety equipment provided by the employer. If a worker does not use safety equipment properly, the BWC may not find the employer responsible for the injury.
What penalties are associated with a VSSR
If the employer is found guilty of a RSSV, it will incur significant costs. The Industrial Commission will award the injured worker additional financial compensation, which can range from 15 to 50 percent of the total compensation paid as part of the claim. And, as mentioned above, this is paid for directly, not through the workers compensation claim.
Additionally, if the business has been charged with two or more VSSRs within a 24-month period, an additional penalty may be imposed. This additional penalty can be up to $ 50,000.
How has the Ohio HB 81 changed the VSSR process?
As of September 15, 2020, the time required to file a RSAV is one year from the date of the injury. Prior to this legislative change implemented through HB 81, and for claims filed prior to the effective date above, injured workers had two years to file an application for VSSR award.
What Can Your Business Do About VSSR?
Employers should crack down on potential violations. It is also imperative to meet security requirements and create safer environments for your employees.