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OSHA Violations – Work Accident Injury Lawyers

 

OSHA Violations – A Major Cause of
Work Accidents & Injuries

What is OSHA?

Workplace safety is a serious issue among major industries in the U.S. including the construction industry, manufacturing industry, trucking industry, etc. Dangerous conditions often lead to work accidents and injuries, the vast majority of which are 100% preventable.

The federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration was founded nearly 50 years ago in 1971 and is responsible for establishing and enforcing workplace safety standards. In addition, OSHA is tasked with investigating reports of OSHA violations, workplace fatalities and serious workplace injuries.

OSHA Update: Silica Exposure OSHA Rule Changes – Enforcement Begins September 23, 2017 (Construction)

OSHA Inspection Data (2014-2016)

2014

2015

2016

Total Violations

67,941

64,763

58,702

Serious Violations

49,616

47,934

42,984

Willful Violations

439

527

524

Repeat Violations

2,966

3,088

3,146

Other Violations 14,503 13,016 11,895

OSHA Violation Definitions

  • Serious: A workplace hazard could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious physical harm, unless the employer did not know or could not have known of the violation.
  • Willful: The employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement (purposeful disregard) or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.
  • Repeat: The employer has been cited previously for the same or a substantially similar condition and, for a serious violation, OSHA’s inspection history for the employer lists a previous OSHA notice issued within the previous five years.

Over the years, OSHA has established and amended various standards to improve workplace safety across industries. The vast majority of employers in the U.S. come under OSHA jurisdiction. However, OSHA does not apply to government workers and workers in certain industries like the mining industry.

Related Case Result: $101 million – The collapse of a parking garage at the Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City that injured over 30 construction workers on the job and killed 4 men working on the project (largest construction accident settlement in U.S. history).

OSHA Violations & Work Accidents/Injuries

Each year, roughly 4,000 workers are killed in on the job accidents. Fortunately, the number of work accident deaths has been steadily decreasing from year to year. In 2013, just over 4,400 workers died in work related accidents, and in 2012, there were roughly 4,600 deaths.

Hands down, the construction industry accounts for the highest percentage of work accident deaths in the U.S. This is due to the inherent dangers of construction, both residential and commercial. Among the various industries, roughly 20% of the total number of annual work related fatalities occurs in the construction industry. In 2013, there were just under 800 deaths in the construction industry, and in 2012, there were a little over 800 deaths. Many construction related deaths occur in the specialty trades such as foundation work, roofing, etc.

More: Workplace Accidents in Pennsylvania & New Jersey – Violation of OSHA Regulations

Work Accidents/Injuries – Legal Rights & Financial Compensation

Workers who are injured while on the job have legal rights to compensation. There are two sources of compensation: workers’ compensation and negligence lawsuits. While workers’ compensation usually provides for medical treatment and a portion of lost pay, negligence lawsuits can result in compensation for pain and suffering, as well as compensation for medical bills and lost wages.

Many workers are simply unaware of their legal rights to file negligence lawsuits. Many believe their only legal recourse is filing for workers’ comp. Time and time again, an injured worker and their family seek the advice of a work accident and injury lawyer when it is too late; the applicable statute has expired. That’s why it’s important to seek advice from a work accident injury lawyer as soon as possible after a serious work accident occurs.

Financial Compensation for Work Injuries

Injured workers can receive fair and reasonable financial compensation for their injuries in a tort or negligence lawsuit. These types of lawsuits are commonly referred to as “third party” lawsuits or claims. The third party refers to an individual or entity which committed some act of negligence that led to the accident. Claims for financial compensation include medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

In states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, when injured workers file negligence lawsuits, they can make claims for what was already paid out by the employer/workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

For example, a roofer injured at a worksite in Pennsylvania makes a claim for workers’ compensation benefits and receives a total of $10,000 of benefits between medical treatment and lost pay.

The injured roofer can also file a negligence lawsuit and recover the $10,000 that was paid out by workers’ comp in addition to compensation for pain and suffering. Then, the injured worker would be required to reimburse the workers’ comp carrier/employer for at least a portion of the $10,000. This is known as a workers’ compensation subrogation claim. Laws relating to workers’ compensation subrogation vary from state to state.

Visit our Work Accident & Injury Law Library for more information.

If you were injured due to an OSHA violation, call our work accident and injury lawyers at 800.220.7600. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation, and can obtain special admission in other states, such as New York or Delaware, on a case by case basis.

**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Page last reviewed and updated: May 17, 2018