Would you say that you’re familiar with your company’s policy on reporting injuries? Recently, a case that involved US Steel, the DOL and the United Steel Workers Union determined that some of the guidelines that demand immediate reporting were worth revisiting.

The case dealt with two separate incidents where, in each case, neither employee was severely harmed and as a result, didn’t report the injury for several days. The delay in reported led officials at US Steel to suspend both employees for fives days without pay. A third employee blew the whistle on US Steel and a court case ensued.

The settlement had multiple outcomes worth noting:

  1. The employees were reinstated without penalty and reimbursed for lost pay.

  2. The “immediate reporting” policy of US Steel was removed and new policies were established there were deemed more prudent.

  3. The DOL agreed not to prosecute US Steel or seek civil penalties or damages against the company.

For employees, a lesson to be learned is the importance of familiarizing yourself with your company’s reporting policy. Lack of proper knowledge can result in serious consequences. Don’t assume that you know what the rules are. Your employer may have rules that are stricter than the standard OSHA regulations. If your company’s reporting policies are not adhered to, it could cost the employee in terms of care and compensation. Make sure that you know the rules and that you  follow them.