VIOLATION OF A SPECIFIC SAFETY RULE - V.S.S.R.
A provision in the Ohio Constitution provides that an employee who is injured in the course of his/her employment can request a VSSR award, which is a penalty levied against an employer if it is found that the worker's injury occurred because of the employer's violation of some specific safety requirement. These safety requirements are typically found in the Ohio Administrative Code. Some of the cited provisions, among others pertain to overhead protection, safety belts and lifelines, personal protective gear, punch presses, cranes, protective railings on scaffolds, etc.
An injured worker may be entitled to an additional award if the employer violates a specific safety requirement (VSSR) enacted for the protection of the life, health or safety of employees. Article II, Section 35 of the Constitution of the State of Ohio provides the legal authority for the Industrial Commission of Ohio to grant an additional VSSR award.
A VSSR award is in addition to other forms of compensation and is considered to be a 'penalty' assessed against the employer. A VSSR award is paid in addition to and concurrently with any other compensation the Injured Worker obtains.
The Industrial Commission has discretion to determine the amount of the award, but the award may not be greater than 50% nor less than 15% of the maximum award established by law for the year of injury.
Should the Injured Worker wish to file the additional violation penalty action against the Employer, Gruhin & Gruhin actively prusues VSSR actions in all applicable claim situations.
If you are employed where you believe you are exposed to dangerous working conditions, you can file a request for investigation with the State of Ohio. However, this is a procedure you should pursue with an experienced workers' compensation attorney.
Additionally, in a Violation situation, the injured worker should contact OSHA to file a complaint and seek an investigation.
OSHA Complaint Filing Options
You have these options to file your safety and health complaint:
- Online - Go to the Online Complaint Form Written complaints that are signed by workers or their representative and submitted to an OSHA Area or Regional office are more likely to result in onsite OSHA inspections. Complaints received on line from workers in OSHA-approved state plan states will be forwarded to the appropriate state plan for response.
- Download and Fax/Mail - Download the OSHA complaint form* [En Espanol*] (or request a copy from your local OSHA Regional or Area Office), complete it and then fax or mail it back to your local OSHA Regional or Area Office. Written complaints that are signed by a worker or representative and submitted to the closest OSHA Area Office are more likely to result in onsite OSHA inspections. Please include your name, address and telephone number so we can contact you to follow up. This information is confidential.
- Telephone - your local OSHA Regional or Area Office. OSHA staff can discuss your complaint and respond to any questions you have. If there is an emergency or the hazard is immediately life-threatening, call your local OSHA Regional or Area Office or 1-800-321-OSHA.