Our Ohio Workers Compensation clients often ask us: what is a VSSR and how does it tie in with my Ohio Workers’ Compensation claim? These are good questions.
VSSR stands for “Violation of a Specific Safety Requirement.” In Ohio, there are various codes and regulations that employers must comply with in order to ensure the safety of their workers. Many of these codes and regulations can be found in Chapter 4123 of the Ohio Administrative Code. If an employer fails to comply with one of the codes or regulations (say, by removing safety equipment from a machine) and the lack of compliance leads to the employee’s injury, then the employer may be liable to the employee for a VSSR. In such cases, the employee is entitled to an additional cash award above and beyond what he or she is paid in medical bills and lost wages.
The Ohio attorneys at the Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC interview each of their workers’ compensation clients individually and inquire specifically into the method and mode of the client’s injury in order to determine whether there is the potential for a VSSR claim in addition to a standard workers’ comp claim. If the lawyer believes that there may be a VSSR, he will report that to the Industrial Commission which will then conduct an investigation into the matter.
In most cases, if there is a VSSR, the worker and the employer voluntarily settle the matter without the need to go to a hearing. In more contentious cases, a hearing may be necessary and a hearing officer will decide whether there is a VSSR, and if so, the amount of additional compensation that the worker is due. These are complicated issues that an injured worker should not attempt to deal with on his or her own.