Unsafe Working Conditions And Your Legal Rights
May 10, 2021
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 3 million on-the-job injuries are reported annually. Moreover, research from the United States Department of Labor states 15 deaths take place every day because of unsafe working conditions. To learn more about unsafe working conditions and your legal rights, consider reaching out to Robert Sciglimpaglia, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at (203) 663-2803.
What Are Unsafe Working Conditions?
Unsafe working conditions include any situation where a worker is exposed to either dangerous conditions or the threat of injury or death at their place of employment. Some of the ways that unsafe working conditions can appear, include the following:
Faulty Equipment or Tools
Faulty equipment or tools can lead to serious accidents and subsequent injuries. Workplace tools or equipment that have worn out, or are outdated, should be always be replaced to ensure that workers have adequate tools to perform their job safely. In other cases, a manufacturing defect could cause faulty equipment or tools to cause injuries to workers.
Inadequate Safety Protocols or Protection
Industries that are inherently dangerous often require certain safety equipment. If employers failed to provide that equipment or protection, it can leave workers exposed to the threat of injuries or illnesses.
Unsafe Working Premises
An atmosphere that fails to follow appropriate safety codes and laws can qualify as unsafe working premises and can lead to serious accidents and injuries.
Unsafe Working Conditions and OSHA Standards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the primary federal agency that enforces legislation related to safety and health in the workplace. There are different safety laws in place depending on the type of business, however, there are general guidelines that every business should follow. They include the following:
Establish and keep up-to-date workplace operation procedures, and train employees to follow all health and safety requirements.
All safety information and training must be delivered and posted in vocabulary and language that the employees can understand.
All workplace conditions must meet OSHA standards applicable to the specific work environment.
Prominently post the OSHA poster in the workplace that informs employees of their responsibilities and rights.
Employees or their authorized representatives must be granted access to their medical and exposure records.
Current and former employees, as well as their representatives, must be allowed access to the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses.
Color labels, signs, posters, and codes must be used to warn of potential hazards.
Any OSHA citation received by the employer due to an OSHA violation must be posted near or at the area of the workplace that was cited.
Any fatal accident or injury accident that required three or more employees to be hospitalized must be reported to the nearest OSHA office within 8 hours of the incident. Report the incident by calling 1(800) 321-OSHA.
Injury and Illness Prevention Programs
While not a requirement, OSHA strongly encourages all businesses to have an Injury and Illness Protection Program in place. As defined by OSHA, common elements of a solid workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Program include worker participation, hazard identification, prevention and control, safety training and education, management leadership, and ongoing program evaluation.
Steps To Take After a Workplace Injury
If you suffered any kind of injury or illness in the workplace, consider taking these steps:
Seek Medical Attention
If you have been injured at work because of unsafe working conditions, the first thing you need to do is seek medical attention and evaluation. When you get treatment for your injury be sure to explain to the medical provider that your injury was work-related. This is something your doctor will document in your medical notes and can be used when you submit a claim either for workers’ compensation or a personal injury claim.
Report The Injury
The second step is to report your injury to your employer. Each employer will have different requirements as to the forms you need to fill out, however you should include in writing any relevant details regarding the accident. This may include what you were doing at the time of the accident, what time the accident occurred, and what injuries have been sustained.
Additionally, you should report the accident to any relevant state or federal organizations:
For safety issues for Interstate Trucking, file your online complaint form or call 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238).
For OSHA complaints inside a facility or office, you can file a complaint online with (OSHA).
Additionally, you will likely be referred to the State of Connecticut, Department of Labor Division of Occupational Safety and Health online form.
Visiting with an experienced attorney can help ensure that you report your work-related accident to all the appropriate parties, and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve under the law.
Record All Information Relating to the Injury
After the accident has been reported, you should keep a journal of all information relating to the injury. This includes the events leading to the injury, the effects it has had on your daily life, and any medical records for ongoing treatment.
Continue to provide this information to your employer as well as to any relevant state or federal organizations. Consider contacting an unsafe working conditions lawyer in Connecticut to help you better keep track of this important evidence in preparation for your legal options.
Compensation for Unsafe Workplace-Related Injuries
You may be entitled to compensation if you suffered an injury as a result of unsafe workplace conditions. Workers’ compensation can include any medical costs, lost wages, vocational rehabilitation, future medical expenses, and more.
The Connecticut Workers Compensation Commission can be reached at (860) 493-1500 or you can find the appropriate form online. This can be a lengthy process as your employer may contest your claim to compensation.
Claims for Unsafe Working Conditions
If your employer does contest your claim to receive workers’ compensation, consider contacting an unsafe working conditions attorney to review your case and help you understand all of your legal options regarding your employer’s unsafe working conditions and your legal rights.
Alternatively, the circumstances surrounding your injury may entitle you to file a personal injury claim due to employer negligence, a premises liability claim due to hazardous or dangerous conditions at your place of employment, or even a product liability claim for defective or faulty equipment.
Learn How a Connecticut Unsafe Working Conditions Attorney Can Help
Filing claims for unsafe working conditions can be complex and legally challenging. Taking on a large organization like your employer can feel overwhelming. If you have questions about unsafe working conditions and your legal rights in Connecticut, consider contacting Robert Sciglimpaglia, an experienced unsafe working conditions attorney in Connecticut at (203) 663-2803 to ensure your legal rights remain protected.