The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency established in 1971 by the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA’s sole purpose is to assure American workers a safe and healthy workplace by developing and implementing workplace safety policies.
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, all employers must provide their employees a workplace that is free from known dangers, and where dangerous work conditions are suspected or a workplace injury has occurred, OSHA may inspect the workplace or investigate the cause of the accident. OSHA uses the findings of their inspections and investigations to provide recommendations to the employer and to prescribe new regulations for an industry.
It is important to note that federal law prevents your employer from punishing you for reporting a dangerous workplace condition to OSHA, and that you may submit your request for an inspection or investigation anonymously. If you suspect that you were injured because your workplace was unsafe, you will likely benefit from the counsel and guidance provided by an attorney familiar with workplace injuries like those at Grossman Law Offices as an independent investigation is usually necessary for you to fully recover from your injuries.
If you suspect that your workplace has failed to take adequate safety precautions to protect you from hazardous materials or that it is not safety compliant, you or your attorney can file an anonymous complaint with OSHA which will trigger an investigation of the work site. During the inspection, you and/or your attorney may attend and privately voice your concerns with the OSHA investigator. If violations of regulations are found during the investigation, the inspector will normally issue a citation in addition to identifying regulations that have been violated.
If you’ve been injured in an accident at your workplace, you or your attorney may contact OSHA to have the cause of the accident investigated. OSHA routinely investigates accidents that result in all kinds of bodily injury, death, or were caused by a catastrophe. OSHA may utilize a variety of equipment and experts while investigating the cause of your injuries including advanced industry-specific technology and accident reconstruction experts. However, it’s important for you to know that OSHA’s primary purpose is to make your workplace safe, not to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries. Thus, if you’ve been injured at your workplace, you should quickly retain an experienced personal injury attorney, who has the resources to conduct an independent investigation on your behalf to gather the evidence necessary to secure compensation for your injuries.
First, OSHA can investigate your employer for injuries resulting from your employer’s implementation of improper operating procedures, or for providing no operating procedures for dangerous activities. Improper operating procedures involve requiring and providing employees proper personal safety equipment, and to keep the work area free from all known and foreseeable safety hazards.
Second, OSHA can investigate your employer for injuries resulting from your employer’s failure to purchase or maintain equipment that is designed to be safe and to maintain structures that are safe to occupy while you work. Injuries resulting from your employer’s failure to obtain and maintain safe equipment include injuries that result when the equipment malfunctions or where a structure collapses on you while you work.
Third, OSHA can investigate your employer for injuries resulting from their failure to maintain a work site that was safe to endure environmental conditions. For example, if your injuries are attributable to exposure to heavy rains, strong winds, or excessive heat or coldness (dehydration or frostbite).
If you’ve been injured on the job and suspect that your employers actions or failure to act caused your injuries by creating an unsafe workplace, your claims against your employer will likely benefit from retaining an experienced personal injury attorney. You should be aware that OSHA is a governmental agency that represents the public as a whole, and not necessarily your individual needs and rights.
To ensure that your rights are fully represented you need a strong advocate to be your voice in recovering for injuries that resulted from an accident that happened at your workplace. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have over 20 years of experience in representing victims of workplace accidents and are available any time to provide a free consultation regarding your workplace injuries at 1-855-392-0000.