No matter what type of industry you work in, there is an inherent employer's responsibility to provide you with a safe and hazard-free working environment. Your employer should establish and enforce workplace safety protocols and abide by all standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA. Failure to do so can result in dangerous and even life-threatening injuries and accidents to you or your fellow workers.
OSHA and Employer Responsibility
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, all employers have a responsibility to provide a “safe and healthful” workplace. In order to ensure this, OSHA has established hundreds of safety standards for employers to abide by. There are specific standards set forth for employers in the construction, maritime, agriculture, and recordkeeping industries. If an employer does not comply with OSHA standards, they can be issued a citation and, if the error is not corrected, even face fines or jail time.
When Injury Occurs
Even though there is employer responsibility to provide a safe workplace, this, unfortunately, does not always happen. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011 alone, there were nearly 3 million workplace injuries and 4,600 job-related fatalities in the United States.
When a worker is injured on the job, they may be eligible to apply for workers’ compensation benefits or, if their employer does not have workers’ comp coverage, file a civil claim against the at-fault party. If a worker is killed in the line of duty, their survivors may be due the benefits of these claims instead.
Were you hurt on the job because your employer failed to provide a safe workplace? Then you could be due compensation through workers’ comp or a civil claim. Call the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today at (210) 934-6609 to begin discussing your legal options.