We often talk about how workers’ compensation benefits are among the most important rights for any employee in the United States, but it is also important to remember another crucial ally of employees everywhere: OSHA. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is a part of the Department of Labor, and it exists primarily to safeguard the well-being of workers, often by ensuring that safety features and regulations are in place to protect employees.
One example of how OSHA can help employees occurred recently when a contractor was fined $210,000 for work at two different locations. The contractor in question is based in Pennsylvania, and reportedly has a history of safety violations for its work locations. That includes seven violations that inspection of a Philadelphia apartment complex revealed late last year. Although no injuries were reported at any of the sites, OSHA is taking steps to prevent such dangerous working conditions from persisting if the company wishes to avoid further fines.
Even though no injuries were reported, it is a relief to see that OSHA takes action before it is too late. Preventing injuries is vastly preferable to fixing the problem after the fact. Unfortunately, OSHA is not always quick enough to notice safety violations, and some construction workers are injured due to unsafe working conditions.
In the event that you suffer a workplace injury, whether the safety standards of your workplace are up to par or not, you should know that workers’ compensation is an option. Filing a workers’ compensation claim can help you recover some measure of financial security while you are recovering from work. Most importantly, it is your right as a worker to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured on the job, so you should not be afraid to take advantage of them.
Source: Delaware Online, “Wawa subcontractor facing $210K in OSHA fines,” Scott Goss, June 3, 2016