Practice Areas / Labor & Employment Law
Accidents in the workplace are more common than most people realize, and they can often result in serious injuries. Occupational safety should be the first and foremost priority within a company of any size, but unfortunately that isn’t always the case.
While some workplace accidents are unavoidable due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, many times serious injury in the workplace is a direct result of employer negligence. This negligence can include a non-existent or poorly constructed set of safety policies and practices set forth for employees. Or, if safety policies do exist, employer negligence can also include the lack of their oversight and enforcement.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created to provide companies with mandatory safety standards and regulations to follow to ensure that safety measures and precautions are taken seriously. These regulations, if violated, come with severe penalties that can include fines and even having the business shut down until the unsafe conditions are remedied.
Once you’ve filed a complaint with OSHA, they will do a thorough investigation in order to determine if there is a safety violation, and, if the employer is responsible for resolving it.
You don’t need to be injured to file an Occupational Safety complaint
If you are in the middle of an unsafe working environment, it’s possible that your employer is unaware of the situation. The best thing to do is to discuss the situation with your employer to find out if they are aware of the situation, and if they are planning to resolve it. Most employers want to fix unsafe working conditions before an accident occurs, or before someone files a complaint with OSHA.
When occupational safety is compromised, and a formal complaint is filed, the business may be shut down until the dangerous condition has been resolved. Don’t hesitate to discuss the situation with your employer first. However, if your employer refuses to remedy the situation, you may want to take action even if you haven’t been injured. This will be the best way to prevent yourself and others from experiencing accidents and injuries that could have been prevented.
Many times employees remain silent and just do their jobs despite the unsafe working conditions, but this only perpetuates the problem and, at some point, someone is going to get hurt.
Worker’s Compensation vs. hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
People who are injured on the job often file for worker’s compensation because that’s the only option they are aware of, but many people choose to hire a personal injury lawyer to work on their behalf.
When it comes to occupational safety, nothing is more important than making sure workers are able to perform their job duties safely. It is purely the responsibility of the employer to ensure the highest safety standards are being met on a day to day basis.
People who hire a lawyer to bring a personal injury case forward for them do more than help themselves recover from their injuries. Many times during a personal injury lawsuit, the employer is forced to make certain changes to ensure the safety of their employees—changes to ensuring safety they would otherwise ignore.
Most employers won’t want to risk being sued a second time, and so they will act on the first lawsuit as their invitation to clean things up.If you’re involved in unsafe working conditions and are unsure if you should file a complaint with OSHA, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer for a consultation to help you determine your best course of action.