Violating the safety standards of the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration may create hazards that cause serious injuries for workers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employees suffered 2.8 million injuries on the job in 2018, and injured workers often require medical treatment and recovery time. Unfortunately, when it comes to OSHA violations in the workplace, injured workers’ employers might have prevented many such incidents if they had followed the required safety standards.
Common OSHA Violations in the Workplace
OSHA inspectors regularly conduct worksite checks and investigations, citing employers for safety standard violations. Some of the most common of these involve:
- Lockouts and tagouts
- Respiratory protection
- Scaffolding accidents
- Hazard communications
- Fall protection
These and similar violations may cause workers to fall, get struck by objects, be electrocuted, or get caught in or between equipment or structures, which may result in serious injuries or death.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
With few exceptions, workers in Illinois who suffer injuries on the job may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits through their employers’ insurance carriers. Injuries resulting in the course of employment may qualify for benefits including medical care for the injury, temporary total or temporary partial disability benefits, vocational rehabilitation, and permanent total or permanent partial disability benefits. In exchange for coverage of their medical bills and other workers’ comp benefits, workers relinquish their right to pursue civil action against their employers. If the employer is underinsured or uninsured for workers’ comp, and is unable to pay for workers’ comp, injured workers may be able to seek compensation through the injured workers’ benefit fund.
Third-Party Civil Actions
While they cannot take legal action against their employers for OSHA violation-related injuries, workers may pursue a lawsuit against third parties who contributed to the hazards that caused them to get hurt.
Employer Consequences for OSHA Violations in the Workplace
Those who violate the OSHA standards and cause a worker to be injured or killed are not only liable to the victim and their families for damages, they also may face fines, and in some cases, may face criminal sanctions, including jail time.