Safety is an important part of any workplace. Employers are legally obligated to provide a reasonably safe work environment for their employees, the standards of which are decided by a variety of authoritative bodies, including industry regulation experts and OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Act). A failure to follow these industry standards can result in the necessity for legal action to correct the violation. OSHA requires employees to be informed of any inherent hazards on the job, as well as for employers to proactively remain aware of new hazards and take the necessary measures to correct those hazards if possible.
Worker’s compensation exists to protect both employers and workers. Most businesses are required to offer some level of workers’ compensation, commonly referred to as “workers’ comp” to their employees after a work-related injury or illness. This workers’ compensation is twofold; it ensures that an injured employee will receive financial aid for their medical bills and lost wages, and it also protects the employer from legal repercussions.
Except for rare situations, a worker cannot file a personal injury claim against their employer if they are already receiving workers’ comp benefits. However, in situations where workplace safety was overlooked and negligence can be proven on the part of an employer or third party, the injured party could be eligible to file a lawsuit to recover additional damages.
Common Workplace Safety Violations
Examples of common safety violations include but are not limited to:
- Inadequate fall protection
- Inadequate scaffolding
- Inadequate or absent respiratory protection
- Poor hazard communication
- Poorly maintained hazardous material
- Poorly maintained machinery
- Inadequate ladder safety
- Inadequate supervision
Hiring an Attorney
Contact a worker’s compensation attorney to discuss your options for protecting yourself and your family from further financial harm and seeking compensation to pay for past and present damages.