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Thanks to The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA), employees across all industries are entitled to reasonable protection against workplace-related hazards, especially those working with heavy machinery and hazardous chemicals. But unfortunately, not every employer takes OSHA regulations seriously, with some even going to great lengths to avoid investing in employee health and safety. Regardless of whether a violation results in an employee’s injury or not, employers who do not abide by these rules could be subject to expensive fines and held liable for injured employers.
Needless to say, workplace accidents can turn an employee’s life upside down — make sure this doesn’t happen to you. If you’ve suffered workplace injuries because of an OSHA violation, contact OSHA lawyer, Ken Hesser, to request a case consultation.
OSHA regulates workplace standards regarding potentially hazardous materials, situations, and equipment, such as toxic chemicals, mechanical use procedures, maintenance requirements, and environmental conditions. These regulations apply to a wide variety of industries, including agriculture and construction. OSHA also requires employers to maintain records of all occupational injuries and illnesses.
Please note that OSHA and workers compensation are separate. OSHA focuses primarily on workplace safety, while workers comp provides workers with the medical care they need without concerns about how they are going to pay for it. However, an OSHA violation could provide the grounds for filing a workers comp claim.
There are six types of OSHA violations depending on the nature and severity of the infraction.
OSHA monetary penalties vary widely depending on the type of violation and estimated damages. As of 2020, Other-than serious and serious violations max at $13,494 per violation. Failure to abate violations max at $13,494 per day beyond the abatement date. Lastly, willful and repeated violations max at $134,937 per violation. Please note, these numbers are subject to change every year.
Employers could also be subject to the following upon conviction:
Many employees hesitate to file an OSHA complaint out of fear of losing their job. However, rest assured, employers can not legally fire a worker for this. In case of retaliation, our employee lawyer, Ken Hesser, can help you protect your rights, ensuring that you have enough time away from work to heal completely. When attempting to take action against an employer, do not accept a settlement until you speak with an attorney.
Injured workers filing for workers compensation can use evidence of an OSHA violation in their favor. In some instances, they may also use this evidence to file a third-party lawsuit against their employer or even a criminal lawsuit in the event of a willful OSHA violation. Our workers comp attorney can help injured workers determine if they can sue an employer on the grounds of an OSHA violation and represent them during negotiations and in court.