When you are injured at work, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set regulations in place to help keep employees safe, even in naturally dangerous occupations. An Ohio workers compensation lawyer can help you pursue legal action if your injury was caused by an OSHA violation. Although it can seem intimidating or wrong to go against your employer, you shouldn’t have to pay for injuries caused by someone else’s negligence.
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Types of OSHA Violations
OSHA inspections take place regularly to ensure that employers comply with national safety regulations. But if an employee makes a complaint about a potential violation, an OSHA inspector is often called to examine the situation. There are five main categories of OSHA violations that could result in sanctions.
A violation of OSHA regulations is considered to be serious if the breach could likely result in death or grievous physical harm. Examples of serious violations include:
- Tripping hazards
- Failure to provide training or safety equipment
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals
If a violation is not likely to cause death or grievous physical harm, it’s considered an other-than-serious OSHA violation. Examples of other-than-serious violations include:
- Failure to keep copies of safety regulations
- Failure to post necessary safety documentation in work areas
If an employer knew about a breach of OSHA rules and either did nothing to improve the situation or deliberately committed the violation, the act would be considered a willful violation. An example of a willful violation would be failing to fix a piece of equipment that has already caused an injury in the workplace.
If an inspection by an OSHA inspector reveals a breach of OSHA regulations that the employer is already on record for within the past five years, they would be guilty of a repeat violation. The more repeats of a violation an employer has, the more severe the penalties are each time.
Failure to Abate Prior Violation
If an employer was cited with a breach of OSHA regulations, they typically have a timeline in which to rectify the situation. If they fail to do so, they have committed a failure to abate the prior violation and can be fined daily for as long as the violation persists.
How an Ohio Workers Compensation Lawyer Can Help
Unfortunately, there is no national guideline that regulates how OSHA violations play into workers compensation cases or personal injury lawsuits. Some jurisdictions have decided that the prohibition on a personal injury claim cannot be lifted due to a willful OSHA violation. However, there are some courts that will use the factor of willfulness to determine the outcome of prohibition. The best way to ensure your case is a success is to work with an Ohio workers compensation lawyer. Your attorney will know how to approach each case and whether or not OSHA violations can play a part in helping you get the compensation you deserve.