Workplace injuries can happen in any field or environment. Whether you are working in an office, on a construction site, at a pharmacy, or in a factory, serious injuries can occur if the workplace is not up to certain safety standards. Regardless of where you are employed, you can be subject to accidents on the job. When this happens, you are entitled to workers’ compensation from your employer’s insurance company.
However, certain circumstances related to the accident may affect how you should approach it from a legal standpoint. If the cause of your workplace accident was an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) violation, meaning that your company was at fault for not providing a safe work environment, there is an opportunity for you to pursue a personal injury case instead.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is a regulatory agency created by Congress that enforces the standards outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970. The agency implements safety regulations that dictate how employers provide a safe working environment for their employees. For example, OSHA established guidelines for U.S. employers to provide safety training and protective equipment for their employees at no cost.
Many OSHA regulations exist to regulate sanitation requirements and general safety procedures such as ensuring that all hardware is safe to operate. Other guidelines have been introduced that require employers to inform OSHA of any reported workplace injuries. If an employer does not adhere to OSHA regulations, they could be subject to sanctions imposed by OSHA which might result in violation fees.
Different sets of potential hazards could exist in the workplace, depending on the nature of the work. OSHA regularly publishes its most frequently cited standards to caution other businesses on common dangers that might exist in the workplace. Some of the most regularly reported OSHA violations include:
Many injuries that occur in the workplace are preventable. OSHA hopes to reduce the frequency of these accidents by introducing regulations that establish a safe work environment for all employees. If you have recently experienced a workplace accident in California, or you know someone who has, you must file your claim for workers’ compensation shortly after your accident. However, if your injury was caused by an OSHA hazard, you may be able to file a personal injury claim.
Employees who experience an accident in the workplace as a result of an OSHA violation may wonder whether the OSHA standard will have any effect on their workers’ compensation claim. OSHA violations typically have no bearing on an injured employee’s ability to file their California workers’ compensation claim.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system and many states do not allow workers to file for a personal injury suit or any legal action against an employer for an OSHA violation if they have already pursued a workers’ compensation claim. If you are hoping to hold your employer accountable for the workplace injury caused by an OSHA violation, you should consider pursuing a personal injury claim instead.
If you are unsure of how to proceed with your particular case, speak with a Glendale worker’s compensation lawyer who specializes in both workers’ compensation claims and personal injury cases.
No one should have to go through the complex process of filing a workers’ compensation claim or pursuing a personal injury case alone. The dedicated attorneys at KCNS Law Group in Glendale, California have decades of experience helping clients file workers’ compensation claims and personal injury suits following workplace accidents that involve OSHA violations.