Every year, Americans in the workforce suffer a wide range of injuries on the job, from simple strains to much more serious bone fractures and head injuries. Fortunately for many Americans, time brings recovery, and they can return to both work and normal life. Unfortunately, some injuries leave workers with permanent and obvious scars that can cause a variety of personal and professional problems for them and their families. This is particularly the case for scars and disfigurements that affect the face. In Ohio, workers may be able to obtain additional compensation if they are left with such an injury after a workplace accident.
What Is a Facial Disfigurement Award in Ohio?
The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) does offer a one-time, lump sum payment of up to $10,000 to an injured worker who suffers a facial or head disfigurement that negatively affects the employee’s ability to obtain or maintain employment. Payment is determined by the severity of the scar or disfigurement. This compensation is offered in addition to any other type of weekly benefit the employee may be receiving related to the injury, such as permanent partial disability.
How to Pursue a Facial Disfigurement Award After an Ohio Work Injury
Workers who sustain these types of injuries do have to request a facial disfigurement award, and each case is reviewed by the state’s Industrial Commission. During the process, it is the responsibility of the employee to prove that the scar or disfigurement suffered in the work injury impairs (or will impair in the future) his ability to find and keep work. The simple existence of the injury is not enough. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help employees pursue a facial disfigurement award by:
- Gathering evidence
- Securing expert testimony, including from medical professionals
- State your case at hearing
- Complete and file paperwork
Protecting Yourself From a Workplace Facial Injury
Certain careers leave employees more vulnerable to facial injuries than others, depending on the type of work being done and the equipment used. Some of the riskier jobs include those that involve:
- Pressurized tools
- Electric charges
- Open flame
- Heavy machinery
Workers should be aware of all the risks so they can take proper precautions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) even mandates specific safety measures for workers in certain fields, including those that involve flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, caustic liquids, gases, and light radiation. For employees in all these fields and many more, workers should take care to:
- Wear a face shield. Face shields can prevent serious injury, and they should comply with state and national standards for range of coverage and strength of material. Reports indicate that very few employees actually use face shields when they should.
- Wear eye protection. Similar to face shields, eye protection can help employees avoid serious and devastating injury when worn properly. Detachable side protectors can offer additional coverage when necessary. Regular glasses do not offer adequate protection, and workers should not expect them to prevent serious injury.
- Follow workplace safety protocol. Employers are required to follow state safety standards and most workplaces offer their own set of guidelines, as well. Workers should know the rules and adhere to them to ensure the safety of everyone.
Contact Our Experienced Ohio Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
At Monast Law Firm, attorney Jim Monast and his experienced legal team help injured Ohio workers every day. If you or someone you love has suffered a facial scar or disfigurement, you may be entitled to additional compensation to help ensure your continued financial security. Even if you are not sure if you have a claim, Jim can help you fully understand your rights and determine how best to move forward. Call our Upper Arlington office today to speak with a member of our team and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.