It does not matter if employees work for the government or if they work for a private business: Either way they have the right to be safe at work. Under federal laws, the government must provide certain safety measures to prevent workplace injuries. This includes following U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.
If government agencies do not adequately provide for the safety of their employees and an accident occurs, the injured worker is entitled to workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation covers costs related to the injury. This includes lost wages, medical expenses and pain and suffering.
The woman sued in federal court. Shortly after opening statements at the trial this month the woman, with the help of her attorney, and the owner of the trash compactor settled the case. The woman is now set to receive a settlement of $750,000.
This woman is also entitled to workers’ compensation from the Housing Authority. The amount that is awarded to the injured employee depends on the percentage of use that is lost. The percentage of loss is determined by a variety of factors including age, occupation and ability to transfer skills. Employers are responsible to compensating the employee for this percentage of loss.
To receive compensation, injured workers need to have complete medical records. This may require extra tests, reports or monitoring. Employers who are reluctant to pay may try to make this process difficult, but injured workers, including those working for the government, are entitled to this compensation under the law.
Source: The New York Post, “$750,000 settlement for woman injured by trash compactor,” Mitchel Maddux, June 18, 2012