Message from Firm Founder and Work Accident Lawyer, Jeff Laffey
As the proud son of a union worker from Philadelphia, I pride myself on having been raised on the “union dime.” So it’s no wonder that after law school, I started handling work accident cases, representing men and women in the Philadelphia area, and going up against some of the toughest work industry insurance companies. Every work accident case I have handled in the past 15+ years has been worth it. Helping injured workers is a passion of mine.
Workplace Safety – It’s a Right, Not a Bonus
Every worker in this country is entitled to work under reasonably safe conditions. This means that workers are entitled to go to work every day to support their families without fearing for their safety. The reality is, however, that many workers face unnecessary and unreasonable risks. For example, a factory worker may face continuous risks because the company manager disabled a safety device on a machine in order to speed up production and increase the bottom line.
Let’s face it, companies and corporations generally exist to produce profits. This often means putting workers at risk by engaging in unsafe practices.
Workers’ Rights to a Safe Workplace – OSHA Rights
Practically every private employee in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, whether they are union workers or not, has rights under the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), per the 1970 Occupational Safety and Health Act. Classes of employees excluded from OSHA jurisdiction include:
- self-employed individuals,
- select state/local workers,
- certain farm employees, and
- employees in industries regulated by other federal agencies (i.e., mine workers).
Workers have the following rights, per OSHA.
1. The right to file a confidential OSHA report and get an inspection of their worksite or workplace.
2. The right to exercise their legal rights without retaliation or discrimination.
3. The right to receive info about workplace dangers and how to prevent them (in a different language if necessary).
4. The right to receive copies of test results which show hazards in the workplace (i.e., chemical testing).
5. The right to review work accident, injury and illness records.
Workers are the front line of defense when it comes to preventing work accidents. Many workers, however, fear retaliation and therefore say and do nothing when they see unsafe work practices. It’s completely understandable. The problem is that this culture perpetuates workplace hazards. For instance, the construction and manufacturing industries are two of the most dangerous industries. Workers often see unsafe practices, yet say nothing for fear of losing their jobs.
If the culture changed and workers spoke up when they saw dangerous conditions and filed appropriate reports with OSHA, workplace accidents and injuries would likely decrease. However, in general, rates of work accidents have held steady in this country in the past decade despite the fact that the U.S. economy has been stagnant. Workers must stand up for themselves and demand safe working conditions. It’s a right, not a bonus.
Call for a free consultation with one of our work accident lawyers. (866) 641-0806
Our work accident lawyers are licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Illinois and West Virginia, and also accept work accident cases in other states on a case by case basis. Our lawyers may handle your case by obtaining special admission in your state or may work with local counsel in your area.
DISCLAIMER: This website does not create any attorney-client relationship or provide legal advice. It is crucial to speak to a qualified lawyer prior to making any decision about your case. Read full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.