Even if you work in an environment with known risks, such as construction, you probably have some expectations of safety. You expect your employer to care about work safety and to put in place appropriate policies. You expect coworkers to care about safety so that they will follow those policies. Even when everyone is cognizant of safety issues and requirements, however, accidents and injuries do occur.
Employees in any workplace are protected in part by regulations and requirements from agencies such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This agency works to ensure employers follow required safety guidelines, such as maintaining large equipment and ensuring workers who must access high areas are using safety devises such as harnesses. When employers don’t follow safety requirements, they may be in trouble with OSHA. These violations usually mean some type of fine for the employer.
For the employee who is injured in an accident on the job, OSHA inspections and fines might come too late to do any preventative good. In these cases, employees might be facing medical bills and an extended recovery. During recovery, injured workers don’t always have the ability to work, so they could be dealing with loss of wages on top of all the other issues.
Many workers are covered by workers’ compensation plans that should kick in to alleviate some of these financial woes. Policies don’t always pay out as expected or needed, though, and workers could face denial of claims or partial denial of claims. While you don’t have to prove liability in a workplace accident, you might have to prove injuries are related to an accident or that you did experience certain financial damages. Don’t face these trials alone: in most cases, you have a right to your own legal counsel.