What Are the Most Common OSHA Violations?
The Los Angeles construction accident attorneys at Ellis Injury Law are encouraged by the enormous improvements that have reduced the number of construction worker injuries. Even with those improvements, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) notes that certain workplace safety violations continue to occur. Statistics for 2019 reveal the top ten most common OSHA violations:
- Failure to provide fall protection for workers on structures that are more than six feet above the ground, or to secure tools at elevations that might fall and strike a person on the ground
- Insufficient communication or training on chemical hazards
- Scaffolds that are poorly-built or loaded inappropriately
- Electrocutions and other energy hazards relating to powered machinery
- Ineffective respiratory protection
- Inappropriate or unsafe use of ladders
- Hazards associated with powered industrial trucks, including forklifts and motorized hand trucks
- Training in and remediation of slip and fall hazards
- Poor or ineffective guards on machinery, particularly at pinch points and around rotating components
- Failure to provide proper or effective eye and face shields
Are OSHA violations proof of an employer’s negligence?
Injured construction workers can generally recover compensation for job-related injuries through workers’ compensation claims. Under certain circumstances, an injured worker can also file a lawsuit against third parties to recover damages that are not covered by workers’ compensation benefits. To accomplish that recovery, the injured employee will need to show how a party’s negligence led to the construction accident that was the proximate cause of an injury.
OSHA standards establish a duty of care that construction companies must exercise at a construction site. A company’s violation of those standards may be evidence of negligence, but an injured construction worker will still need to show how the company’s negligence was the direct cause of his or her injuries.
When will a California construction worker have a right to file a lawsuit for injuries?
A California construction worker that receives workers’ compensation benefits after suffering an on-the-job injury cannot also sue the employer whose insurance coverage is providing those benefits. Many construction accidents happen at job sites where several companies are working simultaneously. If a third party’s negligence causes an accident that leads to injuries, the injured worker may have a right to sue that third party.
Each of the contractors and sub-contractors at a construction site is held to the same OSHA safety standard. Injured construction workers in Southern California should always consult with LA construction attorneys after an accident to verify that they are pursuing all potential claims through workers’ compensation and lawsuits to recover the full amount of compensation they deserve when OSHA violations lead to injuries.
What damages can a construction worker recover when an OSHA violation causes an injury?
Construction workers that are injured while performing a work-related task have an opportunity to recover workers’ compensation benefits regardless of whether their employer was cited for an OSHA violation or was otherwise negligent. Depending on the nature and extent of the injuries, California workers’ compensation benefits might include reimbursement of medical bills and expenses, partial or full disability benefits, and costs for job retraining.
If a third party’s negligence caused the injury, the worker can sue for pain and suffering and other damages that workers’ compensation excludes. In a negligence lawsuit, an injured worker will first need to show that the at-fault party owed the worker a duty of care. OSHA standards and violations of those standards can provide evidence of that duty and the at-fault party’s failure to adhere to it. The worker’s construction lawyer will then use other evidence from the accident to demonstrate how the OSHA violation was the direct and proximate cause of injuries, and how the losses and damages that the worker experienced were a result of those injuries.
Call Ellis Law for a no-fee consultation
Please see our website or call Ellis Injury Law to confer directly with a Los Angeles construction accident and injury lawyer about the damages you can recover when you are hurt in an on-the-job construction accident. Our experienced legal team will review reported OSHA violations at the construction site and determine your opportunity to recover compensation from workers’ compensation a lawsuit against any responsible third parties.