How Do OSHA Violations in the Workplace Affect Workers’ Compensation?

Whenever you need to pursue a workers’ compensation claim to cover lost wages and medical bills, many factors may have led to your injury. One possible cause of your injury is an OSHA violation in the workplace. While the OSHA sets standards for workplaces to be safe, negligent employers or managers may not abide by these rules, leading to an unsafe work environment for dedicated employees. 

You should never have to pay the price for your employer’s carelessness. Keep reading to learn more about OSHA violations and how they can affect your workers’ compensation claim.

What is OSHA?

OSHA is the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This administration sets standards to protect the health and safety of employees across the country. While some states have their own OSHA programs to further clarify employers’ rules, all states fall under federal OSHA rules.

How Do OSHA Violations Look?

OSHA violations come in different forms. These violations vary in:

  • Employer negligence levels
  • The amount of danger posed to employees
  • The severity of the penalty

Here are the six types of violations outlined in the Federal Employer Rights and Responsibilities Following an OSHA Inspection handbook: 

  1. Willful: An employer must demonstrate “an intentional disregard for the requirements of the OSH Act or indifference to employee safety and health.”
  2. Serious: There is a practice or condition with a “substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result.”   
  3. Other-Than-Serious: The workplace is in a state that could cause an accident or illness, but it would probably not cause death or severe harm.
  4. De Minimis: The employer has implemented a measure that is different from the specified standard.
  5. Failure to Abate: These violations occur when an employer hasn’t brought a previously cited hazard into compliance since the prior inspection.
  6. Repeated: A repeated violation is any violation that an OSHA inspection has previously cited within the last five years.

What Are Common Examples of OSHA Violations in the Workplace?

If you are still on the fence trying to decide if your workers’ compensation claim was the result of an OSHA violation, here are the Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards. The most common places that inspectors found violations are: 

  1. Fall protection in construction
  2. Hazard communication standards
  3. General scaffolding safety requirements
  4. Control of hazardous energy
  5. Respiratory protection
  6. Ladders used for construction
  7. Powered industrial trucks
  8. Proper training for fall protection
  9. Machinery and machine guarding
  10. Eye and face protection

Does an OSHA Violation Affect My Compensation?

An OSHA violation can lead to more significant compensation, if it is considered a safety violation under the state Workers’ compensation law, for your time away from work and medical bills. Paid OSHA citation penalties can increase the amount awarded in a workers’ compensation benefit.

Why Should I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for an OSHA Violation?

Unfortunately, workers’ compensation claims can result in an unfair settlement for the injured worker if they don’t consult legal counsel. If you’ve been injured due to an OSHA violation, contact a workers’ compensation lawyer. An experienced lawyer can help guide you through the arduous process. 

If you want to learn more about the workers’ compensation claim process, read our blog on how to file a claim.

If you’ve been injured due to an OSHA violation at your workplace, contact the legal experts at Tolbert Beadle to see how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.