No matter where you work, the potential for some sort of accident exists. Even conscientious employers cannot eliminate all possible hazards, although they are required by law to make your working environment as safe as possible. Employers failing to provide adequate fall protection was the number one violation reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2014. Falls also constitute 25% of all injury claims per year and account for 65% of all work days lost. If you are injured in a slip and fall accident at work, you need to determine if your employer was following the safety rules. If you believe your employer was not in compliance, then you should consider taking legal action to protect yourself financially.
OSHA Safety Regulations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), requires that each workplace maintain worker safety by adhering to the following guidelines:
- Have guard rails and toe boards surround open-sided, elevated platforms, runways, or floors.
- Have guardrails and toe boards around machines or equipment that workers can potentially fall into, no matter the height of these hazards.
- Have railings, toeboards, or floor hole covers around every floor hole in an area where workers are present.
- Provide safety harness, safety nets, handrails, and other necessary safety equipment when the job demands it.
Osha also requires that employers take the following actions:
- Maintain a workplace that is free of "known dangers."
- Keep floors as clean and dry as possible.
- Provide work hazard training in a language workers can clearly comprehend.
- Provide safety equipment free to employees.
If you work for a company that is required by law to carry workman's compensation, you may file to collect this insurance that covers lost wages and medical bills. However, you usually must waive your right to sue your employer if you take the insurance payouts. If you feel your injuries will not be fairly compensated under this program or if your employer is not required to carry this insurance, you may seek the help of a personal injury lawyer who specializes in workplace claims. Fighting for your rights against employers can be a difficult task without the aid of someone well versed in this area of the law (such as Charles Aaron PLC).
Certain workplaces are more dangerous than others, but all employers are required by federal law to make a worker's environment as safe as possible. If you are injured in a fall at work due to employer negligence, you do have legal options.