Employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace, safety equipment, and proper training to employees to prevent workplace accidents. Unfortunately, not all employers fulfill these responsibilities and fail to provide a safe workplace. Some companies or managers act negligently and don’t provide enough safety training to show employees how to properly operate dangerous equipment, or fail to inform workers about known hazards. These negligent actions could cause workplace accidents resulting in serious injuries. An employee who has suffered a work accident caused by unsafe working conditions can file a complaint with OSHA and a worker’s compensation claim or personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation.
Dangerous Work Conditions
The construction industry is one of the most common workplaces were accidents can happen, especially if employees and the company do not follow safety regulations and procedures to prevent an injury. However, work injuries can happen in any type of industry, some examples of dangerous work conditions that could cause an accident include:
- Poor lighting. Every work area should be well lit, if you can’t see a hazard it’s much more likely to cause an accident.
- Failure to warn about safety hazards. Slippery floors, weather conditions, rushing employees, improper signage, and improper footwear could all cause an accident at work.
- Transportation accidents. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, transportation accidents were the leading cause of fatal workplace injuries in 2018. This includes car accidents in a work vehicle and being struck by a work vehicle.
- Lack of training. A lack of safety training and instruction on how to use equipment could result in employees improperly operating dangerous equipment and cause an accident.
- Falling objects. Heavy objects such as supplies and file boxes stacked on high shelves can fall over the edge and injure an employee.
- Poor housekeeping. Objects and debris on the floor or slippery areas could cause an employee to trip or fall. Cluttered areas can conceal shard and dangerous objects and cause an accident.
If you encounter a hazard in your work area, inform your supervisor about the situation, take pictures if necessary. It’s their responsibility to fix the situation and make sure that every work area is safe for employees.
Employers’ Responsibilities Under OSHA
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules, employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace, this includes warning employees of known hazards in the workplace, communicating safe operating procedures, providing safety tools and equipment to employees, proper safety training, among other rules and regulations.
If an employee finds hazards in the workplace or hasn’t received proper safety training or equipment, they should inform their superiors immediately. If they don’t address the hazard you can contact OSHA to report the situation.
Steps to Take if Unsafe Work Conditions Caused Your Accident
Oftentimes a hazard in the workplace causes an accident before it is fixed, if this is your case there are certain steps to take after an accident to make sure you obtain fair compensation to cover for your damages.
- Immediately report the accident to your supervisors. Give a detailed account of how the accident happened and what caused it. If possible, take pictures of the hazard that caused the accident and write the names of any witnesses.
- Seek medical treatment right away and follow the doctor’s instructions.
- File a worker’s compensation claim and contact an attorney.
A personal injury lawyer can help you with your workers’ compensation claim or injury lawsuit, if necessary. An attorney can review the circumstances of your accident, help you understand your rights, and pursue compensation to cover for your damages. Consulting with an attorney can help you determine what are the best steps to take to secure compensation and hold a negligent employer accountable for their actions.