Workers’ Compensation For Industrial Accidents

Every worker deserves to have a work environment free from unreasonable dangers. However, we do understand that there are some workplaces that are inherently more dangerous than others. Industrial work environments present significant challenges to safety, but employers still have a duty to take steps to keep the workers safe as possible. Regardless of steps taken to maintain safety, work injuries can still occur. Here, we want to discuss workers’ compensation in the aftermath of an industrial accident. In particular, we want to examine how much compensation a worker will be paid as well as whether or not they will be able to file a third-party lawsuit against an at-fault party.

Industrial accidents occur in a wide variety of ways. Some of the most common causes of industrial injuries include the following:

  • Slip and fall incidents. Slip and fall accidents can happen in any workplace, though they are particularly prevalent in industrial settings. Incidents can occur on stairways, ledges, hard floors, and any other area around an industrial site.
  • Falling objects. Falling objects are a major concern in any major industrial setting. Workers should be trained about the appropriate placement and proper techniques for transporting items and the use of restraints.
  • Chemical burns or exposure. Many industries use chemicals and other hazardous materials. Chemical burns and chemical exposure accidents can occur anytime chemicals are not properly labeled or when employees are not properly trained in the use and transportation of the chemicals.
  • Improper lifting or overexertion. Injuries to the back, spine, and limbs can occur over time as a result of improper lifting techniques or a lack of appropriate tools to help with lifting heavy items.

Workers’ Compensation is the First Line of Defense

The workers’ compensation system in Oregon is extensive. This is considered a “no-fault” insurance system, which means that injured workers should be able to receive compensation for their injuries regardless of who caused the incident, whether it be the actions of the employee or the employer. Workers’ compensation in Oregon will cover an injured employee’s medical bills and lost income when the employee sustains an on-the-job injury or illness.

Under Oregon law, all employers that have one or more employees, whether full- or part-time, must carry workers’ compensation or qualify as self-insured.

It is important to point out that the workers’ compensation system is designed not only to provide protection for employees but also for the employer. The employer is essentially shielded from liability lawsuits that could result from work-related injuries or illnesses.

What About Third-Party Lawsuits?

There is a possibility for third-party lawsuits in the aftermath of industrial accidents, but only in certain situations. In general, an employee will not be able to file a lawsuit against their employer. However, if there were any third parties involved in the incident, then these other parties could face a personal injury lawsuit. For example, it is not uncommon for many industrial settings to have third-party contractors present. If these other parties fail to maintain safety standards, they could be responsible for any injuries that occur to others. Additionally, if an industrial injury or illness is caused by a defective product, then the company or manufacturer of that product may hold liability for the incident.