OSHA violations are a common cause of workplace accidents
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, aka OSHA, is tasked with developing regulations that can help protect workers from injury and exploitation. These regulations are often extremely specific, with special rules for different kinds of industries and workplaces from agriculture to factory work to construction and more. However, the regulations all have the common purpose of ensuring certain rights for workers. This includes the right to:
- Training in a language the worker understands
- Safe machinery
- Appropriate safety gear
- Protection from toxic chemicals
- OSHA inspections
- Copies of workplace injury and illness logs
- Copies of workplace hazard test results
Unfortunately, OSHA regulations are not always followed in the workplace, and this can and does result in on the job injuries.
For example, say a factory worker did not receive proper training on how to handle certain hazardous chemicals. This could easily result in toxic exposure, possibility affecting other employees as well as the untrained worker. Or, say a construction worker was using a poorly maintained bulldozer with bad brakes. The machine could go out of control and cause an accident. These are examples of accidents that could easily be prevented simply by following OSHA guidelines.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt Due to an OSHA Violation
As with any workplace accident, victims of accidents involving OSHA violations can be compensated through their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation will help pay medical bills, as well as provide for out-of-pocket expenses like prescriptions, bandages, and mobility aids. There will also be a benefit designed to help replace the worker’s lost income. There will be no compensation for pain and suffering.
In certain situations it may also be possible to seek compensation via a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. In order to do this, you must be able to prove that your employer’s gross negligence or “wanton disregard for your safety” caused your injury. This is an extremely difficult task; however, a documented OSHA violation can sometimes give you the evidence you need.
Due to the difficulty of winning a personal injury case based on an OSHA violation—and the time involved in litigation—it is typically best to proceed with a workers’ compensation claim immediately after an accident. This will give you the best chance of getting the compensation you need as soon as possible. If you decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit later, you can still do so. You will have to reimburse workers’ comp from your personal injury award if you win.
For immediate assistance following any kind of accident at work, contact the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 now.