OSHA Standards Provide For Occupational Safety | NJ Personal Injury Attorneys at the Clark Law Firm, P.C. Handle NJ OSHA Violations Cases
Employers have a responsibility to ensure that they provide a safe work environment for their employees. While, by nature of the work performed, some professions have more safety risks associated with them than others (e.g., coal miners), there are safety standards set forth by the federal and state Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Employers are required to abide by these standards. If you or a loved one have been injured or even killed as a result of OSHA violations at the workplace, your employer can be held accountable and you may be entitled to receive compensation. Contacting the NJ personal injury attorneys at the Clark Law Firm, P.C., is the first step in ensuring your rights are protected. Our experienced personal injury attorneys evaluate work-related injuries and file personal injury lawsuits where OSHA regulations have been violated and/or ignored.
OSHA Regulations | NJ Work Injuries & Fatalities
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established in 1971 with the intent of creating safer work environments. Since its’ inception, OSHA’s efforts and regulations have significantly reduced work-related fatalities, injuries and illness. According to OSHA regulations, employers have a responsibility to ensure that they provide a safe and secure workplace for their employees. They also have a responsibility to provide safe and properly maintained tools and equipment and appropriate safety training and education. OSHA strongly and fairly enforces workplace safety regulations and provides educational and compliance assistance for employers to assist them in adhering to OSHA requirements
When employers do not abide by OSHA regulations, work environments can become hazardous resulting in traumatic injuries to workers. According to the Department of Health & Senior Services, 117,900 incidents of nonfatal workplace illness and workplace injuries and 91 workplace fatalities occurred in new Jersey in 2008.
While workplace injuries occur in almost all industries, it appears that industries such as transportation, construction, mining and agriculture have some of the highest traumatic injury rates. Traumatic injury can be caused when OSHA safety regulations are violated or lack of a safety education occurs and can involve:
- Fall Down Accidents
- Ladder Accidents
- Scaffolding Accidents
- Unprotected Exposure to Asbestos
- Unprotected Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Electrocution Accidents
- Machinery Accidents
When traumatic injuries occur they can have devastating effects on the injured and/or their families. Injuries include but are not limited to:
- Broken Bones
- Soft Tissue Injures to the back or neck
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Head Injuries /Concussions
Workplace Injury Prevention
While employers have an obligation and responsibility to ensure a safe work environment, workers also have a responsibility to follow established safety regulations. For their protection and safety, as well as for the safety of others, if a worker believes they are working in an unsafe environment, it should be reported immediately to their supervisor both verbally and in writing. It is important to document your actions and the existence of an unsafe environment with photos and written statements. If the unsafe condition is not corrected, then OSHA should be notified. Although whistleblower laws exist in New Jersey, workers may still feel intimated or be fearful to report unsafe circumstances. Under New Jersey whistleblower laws, employers may not fire, punish or penalize workers from reporting safety violations in the workplace.
OSHA Violations Lawsuits
Workers Compensation Insurance is available to those who sustained injuries as a result of a workplace accident, workplace disease or workplace illness in order to provide assistance with lost wages and medical and rehabilitation expenses. While Workers Compensation may be available, a lawsuit may be warranted if the employer is found to be negligent and/or conducting their business and/or job site in violation of OSHA regulations. In addition, there may be other parties involved that are liable for an on the job injury including materials or equipment manufacturers.
The first step in litigation involving your work-related injury is to ensure you receive proper medical attention and treatment. Documenting the workplace accident site, alleged OSHA violation via photos, and written statements are important in your potential OSHA safety violation case. It is also important to document your injuries and medical treatment, including photos and medical records. Consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney will guide you through deciphering who should be held accountable and what you legal rights and options are.
While you are focusing on recovery, you also need to ensure you are following the proper process for reporting a Workers Compensation claim, as well as reporting OSHA safety violations. You might not even be aware that there was an OSHA safety violation, and certainly your employer will not bring it to your attention. This process can be complicated and complex and you will want to ensure that your actions support your case, not work against it.
The New Jersey accident attorneys at the Clark Law Firm, P.C. are experienced in OSHA workplace safety cases, will perform an occupational safety investigation and can guide you accordingly so that all negligent parties are held accountable. The compensation you may receive as a result will assist you with maintaining your medical treatment and /or therapy, assist with lost wages, as well as your pain and suffering in the event you sustained traumatic life altering injuries. Contact the personal injury lawyers at the Clark Law Firm, P.C. as soon as possible to ensure your case is handled properly and your rights are protected.