According to reports filed by private industry employers, there were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries in 2019. Even more disturbing is the fact that over 5 thousand workers died from a work-related accident in 2019. When work accidents leave employees injured, one of the many important components of a work accident investigation is whether the employer was being diligent about keeping workers safe and preventing injuries by following OSHA standards.
What is OSHA?
OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. OSHA is a government agency created after the Occupational Safety and Health act of 1970 was passed in Congress. The sole purpose of the agency is to “ensure safe and healthful conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, education, outreach, and assistance.” OSHA is a part of the United States Department of Labor and covers most private sector employers and their workers, as well as some public employers and workers in the 50 continental states and certain federal territories.
How Does OSHA Help Prevent Industrial-Related Accidents?
OSHA works in a few different ways to help prevent industrial work accidents. First, they assist employers with training guidelines and education to promote safe work practices among employees. Second, OSHA has set standards for health and safety at work and offers employers the opportunity to be educated in those standards and implement them in the workplace. Finally, OSHA enforces workplace safety standards through inspections of each factory or work site and issues hefty fines for violations – from $13,494.00 per violation to a hefty $134,937.00 for repeated or willful violations.
Can an OSHA Violation Be Used as Evidence of Employer Negligence?
If you have been injured at work, you might be eligible for a personal injury claim in addition to your workers’ comp claim. If you do, the OSHA investigation is often a great starting point to develop the evidence in the case and begin to assess if someone other than your employer or a co-employee was responsible for your injuries.
Every case is different and results are not guaranteed, but a skilled industrial accident attorney can help you maximize the chances of a positive outcome. The attorneys at Gideon Asen LLC are ready to assist you and to answer all your questions. Contact us at (207) 766-7761 for a free consultation.