What You Need to Know About OSHA’s Role in the Workplace
Posted June 16th, 2016 by Anthony Carbone, PC.
Categories: Workers Compensation.
First, have you heard of OSHA? Or, know their role in the workplace. If not, you’ve come to the right place. OSHA actually stands for the Occupational Safety & Health Administration and falls under the auspices of the United States Department of Labor. When it comes to the workplace, they’re pretty important.
Most New Jersey workers are entitled to certain benefits under New Jersey workers’ compensation laws. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand them. There are some exceptions, such as those who are employed as offshore workers or postal employees. All New Jersey employees are covered by at least one federal employment law. Can you guess which one?
Across the nation, all employees are entitled to a safe workplace. OSHA strives to maintain such an environment for all workers. Learn about the importance of this agency.
OSHA and Work-Related Injuries
As we mentioned, the purpose of OSHA is to protect workers from harm. They do this through routine inspections and government standards. OSHA may also be called in after an occurrence of an on the job accident.
Let’s start with an investigation of a workplace death here in New Jersey. News reports indicate that a New York company doing work in Edison was recently fined. Employees were repainting electrical transmission towers supporting high voltage power lines. One of the workers was up seventy feet, when he inadvertently touched an active power line.
The jolt caused the employee to fall and strike another painter, who fell forty feet to the ground. The first worker died from his injuries. The second was severely injured. OSHA investigated the claim and charged the employer with several infractions. They included the failure to properly train workers and provide appropriate fall protection equipment.
Employees should know their rights under OSHA. They should not be in trouble for making confidential reports to the agency. Some safety concerns addressed include:
- Ensuring that equipment has proper safety guards
- Employees should be issued protective goggles in certain situations
- Safety concerns regarding chemicals should be addressed
- Protection of workers at risk for fall (someone who climbs heights)
- Ventilation systems
It should be noted that there is an expectation that OSHA will be called in for catastrophic or fatal accidents. Even if the employer does not call the federal agencies, the police or emergency personnel may alert OSHA.
For the most part, these laws apply to companies that employ at least ten workers. Some may still be exempt from inspection.
At the Law Office of Anthony Carbone, we have decades of experience dealing with work-related injuries. We know to ask for OSHA reports as part of our own investigation. If you or a loved one was hurt at work, please give us a call to schedule an appointment.