Unsafe Workplace Lawyers Serving Florida & Georgia
You deserve to go to work every day to a safe workplace that is free of hazards, toxins, the potential for violence, defective products, dangerous machinery, and untrained supervisors or co-workers.
Under federal and state law, companies must provide a safe workplace for their employees. If a workplace does not meet specific standards, an employee may file a complaint with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA will review complaints, and may conduct an investigation that could result in monetary fines for companies that violate safety guidelines.
When companies ignore OSHA regulations, they put their workforce at risk of major injury. If you feel your employer — either through laziness or ignorance — is not protecting their workers, it is your right to seek protection.
If you or a loved one have been injured due to unsafe working conditions, you owe it to yourself to call Farah & Farah today.
Understanding How OSHA Affects Your Workplace
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration — also known as OSHA — establishes and enforces safety standards. To protect workers’ wellbeing, private employers must conform to these regulations. OSHA protects workers from one-time injuries, illnesses caused by unsafe workplace conditions, and protection from hazards that cause death or serious injuries.
Working Under Hazardous Conditions
Employers must provide a safe workplace. This responsibility includes posting safety notices, recording any incident like death, injury or exposure, and providing appropriate safety training. OSHA standards and rules cover job site essentials like hazardous material storage protocols, maintaining equipment, protective clothing, and fire protection.
If the employer allowed an unsafe condition to exist that injured or killed an employee, that company could lose workers’ compensation protection, and the employee or their survivors may be able to sue the company without regard to a limit on damages. If you feel your employer is not protecting its workforce — and have a reasonable and honest belief that a safety hazard is present — you can seek protection under the National Labor Relations Board.
Not reporting a suspected hazard can result in an occupational injury to you or a co-worker that could have been avoided and can have a devastating effect on the entire family’s health and welfare.
Types of Hazards in The Workplace
While almost every workplace sometimes has unsafe or hazardous working conditions, some industries have a higher risk than others. Industries like ironworking, logging, refineries, mining, and construction have many opportunities for disastrous accidents.
Unsafe workplaces cause thousands of worker injuries each year. Common hazards include:
Slip and Fall Accidents
Slip and fall accidents occur when spills or uneven surfaces, or other conditions cause a worker to lose their footing and violently fall to the ground. In the US, slip and fall accidents are among the most common reasons for emergency room visits. These incidents can cause bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, or death. A workplace may be liable for these injuries if they do not provide clear signage or hazardous condition warnings.
Electrocution and Electrical Injury Risks
Electrocution can happen when you have contact with exposed wires. Electrical injuries are one of the most serious injuries a person can endure. These injuries can cause extensive burns, scarring and intense pain, and even death. When employers fail to provide proper tools or training for electricity, they may be held responsible for their negligence.
Toxic Exposure Risks
Toxic substance exposure on the job site can occur in many ways. Some common examples include sudden exposure to caustic materials or prolonged exposure to dangerous materials. It can take decades for these effects to appear. Prolonged exposure to dangerous materials may cause brain damage, cancer, blindness, burns, reproductive harm, lung damage, organ damage, skin scarring and disfigurement, or eye damage. Some people may even develop mesothelioma and Parkinson’s disease. Depending on the circumstances, you can seek damages from workers’ comp, employers, or even the material’s manufacturer.
Burn Injury Hazards
Exposure to fire, explosions, and other combustible material causes serious harm like second and third-degree burns. Burn injuries are one of the most severe injuries a person can receive. They require extreme medical attention, such as reconstructive surgery, and may have long-term effects like permanent disability. An employer might be responsible if they did not provide proper and consistent training, including fire protocols, and burn relief stations.
Loading and Unloading
Loading and unloading of inventory and materials from trucks in warehouses can cause serious injury. The loading dock is one of the most dangerous parts of any business. Many potential injuries can occur, including deep cuts, bruises, to chronic pain from long-term trauma. It is the workplace’s responsibility to maintain a safe working environment, and many of these issues are preventable by employers providing adequate loading and unloading rules.
Heavy machinery accidents can occur on construction sites, road work zones, or warehouses. The Department of Labor includes bulldozers, loaders, graders, excavators, scrapers, backhoes, cranes and draglines, forklifts, compactors, rollers, cable plows, augers, mixers, and heavy haul trucks, as types of heavy machinery. Heavy machinery poses many risks on a job site, including equipment failure, collisions, malfunctions, and equipment-related injuries from boom lifts, excavators, cranes, and forklifts. These cases can be quite complicated, and your employer or even the equipment manufacturer may be liable.
What if a Safety Hazard Poses an Imminent Danger
You must advocate for your best interests. You do not have to put yourself at risk. You can refuse to work if the employer refuses to fix the condition, or you do not have time to file a proper claim because of pressing circumstances. Or, if there is no reasonable work alternative or compromise to the safety hazard.
If unsafe conditions in your workplace are putting workers’ lives in immediate danger, you should report violations as soon as possible. Until your employer investigates and eliminates the threat, you can refuse to return to the job site.
You Should Still Act When Safety Hazards Do Not Pose Imminent Danger
Even when conditions are not actively creating danger, you should still tell the employer about unsafe working conditions. Make sure you deliver the complaint in writing — and you have a copy of it — so if the employer doesn’t address the perilous circumstances, you may be able to use this letter as evidence in your complaint.
Many state laws and OSHA regulations prevent employers from retaliation after reporting violation incidents. Your employer should not fire, demote, or reduce pay because you have filed a complaint. If OSHA determines your employer took retaliatory action against you, your employer must reinstate your position and compensate for you for lost wages.
Florida and Georgia Legal Support Can Protect You From Unsafe Working Conditions
You deserve a safe working environment. If you are currently working in a dangerous situation or injured recently on the job, you owe it to yourself to hire the best possible legal representation. A lawyer with experience winning these cases will help you determine strategy and negotiate with your employer. Hiring a qualified Florida and Georgia workers’ compensation attorney will be your best ally to protect your rights.
Get the legal help you need to handle your case. Farah & Farah has been representing injured workers since 1979. We understand the ins and outs of workers’ compensation and have a long track record of successful outcomes and recoveries for the injured worker.
If you or a loved one has experienced an injury because of an unsafe work environment, you deserve justice. Call Farah & Farah for a free no-obligation case review today.