The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets regulations for all businesses to follow. Their protocols and rules are put in place to ensure that employers are providing safe workplaces to prevent injuries or fatalities at the job site. Therefore, if you have been injured in a construction accident, you can use OSHA violations to prove your claim.
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How breach of these regulations causes accidents
Some of the ways that negligent employers breach OSHA regulations is by; exposing the workers to hazardous chemicals without adequate safety gear, electrocution hazards, not shielding or securing elevations, leaving oily surfaces that can cause slip and falls, and providing ineffective or improper eye, face, and ear protection.
Furthermore, workers can get hurt by colliding with forklifts or trucks that did not have proper warning alarms, being exposed to dust and fumes due to poor air circulation, using improperly constructed or overloaded scaffolds, and getting hurt by faulty equipment and tools.
How the violations strengthen your lawsuit
If the guilty party breached the protocols, thus creating an unsafe working environment, then you can do that to strengthen your claim. However, you must first prove four factors; that the guilty party had an obligation to maintain a safe construction site, that they breached the obligations and created a dangerous work environment, which caused your injuries and made you incur losses as a result.
Therefore, you can use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration violations to prove the other party was negligent. But, to get monetary compensation, you must demonstrate that their failure to adhere to the protocols directly caused your injuries.
Generally, injured construction workers usually get compensation through a workers’ compensation claim, which does not require them to show the employer’s negligence. However, when the injured worker is filing a lawsuit against a third party, he or she will have to show how the third party’s negligence caused their injuries. Here is where you can use the third-party’s OSHA violations as part of the evidence in your construction accident lawsuit.
When you file a claim based on the breach of regulations set by the agency, you will also have to report the breach to the agency. When you do this, the agency might come up with other remedies to prevent further accidents from happening at your workplace. These remedies include investigating the organization that breached the protocol, mandating changes in the organization’s safety practices, and fining the organization. The negligent party may also lose its operating license.
What damages can you recover?
Construction workers can get reimbursed by workers’ comp benefits for medical bills, permanent disability, temporary disability, and lost wages. However, if you file a lawsuit against third parties, you can get compensation for loss of consortium, pain, and suffering, reduced job opportunities, and other losses that are generally not included in a workers’ comp claim.
If you can prove that a negligent party breached the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s protocol, this can strengthen your case against them. However, you don’t have to go against a negligent party on your own. Instead, let a legal professional represent your claim.