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When you go to work every day, you have the right to know that you will be working in a safe environment. Although all jobs pose the risk of injury or illness, your employer has a responsibility to make sure all safety measures are met so you do not become hurt at work. Sadly, not all employers take this responsibility seriously. In these cases, you may be able to file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Below, our Baton Rouge industrial accident lawyer explains what will happen after a complaint is made.

What is OSHA?

The OSHA is a public health agency run by the federal government. The agency was founded in 1971, and they have the authority to visit workplaces and inspect them to make sure all safety standards are being met. Sadly, many employers do not maintain safe work environments. This is particularly true in workplaces where manual labor occurs. To help keep workers safe, the OSHA created standards that all businesses must meet. Likewise, the OSHA also provides the necessary training tools and education for both employers and workers. These are critical to ensure that all parties are properly trained to create a safe work environment.

Although OSHA can visit workplaces and identify hazards on their own, they also allow people to file reports and complaints about unsafe work environments. This empowers employees to voice their concerns about unsafe conditions in the workplace.

What are the Most Common OSHA Violations?

Your employer has a legal obligation to comply with the standards set by OSHA in the workplace, regardless of whether you work on a construction site or in an office building. Knowing what the most common violations are can help you stay safe as well as give you a better understanding if the injury you sustained was a result of negligence on the part of your employer. The most common OSHA violations are as follows:

  • Ladders
  • Fall protection
  • Scaffolding
  • Communication hazards
  • Lockout
  • Eye and face protection
  • Machinery hazards

If you have sustained an injury or developed an illness due to your employer’s violation of OSHA safety standards, it is natural to feel hesitant to file an OSHA complaint. However, it is critical to know that your employer is prohibited from taking retaliatory actions against you simply because you filed a complaint about safety in the workplace.

After a workplace accident, the most important thing to do is to document the situation as thoroughly as possible. You should tell your supervisor or manager about the accident so they can file a report and contact emergency services for medical treatment. Take photos and video footage of the accident scene, if possible. If you are too hurt to do so, ask a coworker if they can do this for you. After you have filed a workplace incident report, ask for a copy and keep copies of all medical bills.

What Happens After an OSHA Violation?

If your employer has failed to comply with OSHA regulations, they may face high fines and other legal problems. OSHA has implemented a standard procedure for finding violations and penalizing those who violate the regulation.

When an OSHA inspector discovers a violation, the agency will issue a citation and recommend a penalty. Citations are always specific and detailed, and the OSHA will provide a list of actions violators must take to repair or correct the problem. These actions, along with the penalty, will have a deadline. Penalties are reliant to the severity of the violation, which are placed into different categories. These categories are as follows:

  • Willful
  • Serious
  • Other-than-serious
  • De minimis (trivial)
  • Failure to abate
  • Repeated

The majority of fines are approximately $13,000 for each violation. When employers fail to correct the issue, they can also be fined another $13,000 (approximately) per day. Employers who show a pattern of willful or repeated patterns of violations may face fines over $100,000 per violation.

Employers can also appeal a citation. Appeals must be made to the OSHA Area Director, and they must address the citation, penalty, abatement dates, and other details. Employers have just 15 working days to file an appeal after they have received a citation.

Our Industrial Accident Lawyer in Baton Rouge Can Help After a Violation

If you have been hurt or developed an illness due to your employer’s negligence, our Baton Rouge industrial accident lawyer at Big River Trial Attorneys can help. Call us now at (225) 963-9638 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how our experienced attorneys can help with your case.

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