Employer’s Obligation to Provide PPE
Theories of Liability Used in Nonsubscriber Cases
All About OSHA
What is OSHA?
When Does OSHA Investigate?
What does OSHA Investigate?
OSHA Fines and Penalties
Safety Guidelines for Commercial Fishermen
Safety Guidelines for Product Line Workers
Safety Guidelines for Plumbers
Safety Guidelines for Concrete Workers
The Employer’s Duty of Care Owed to Employees
Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » The Employer’s Duty of Care Owed to Employees
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What Duty of Care Does an Employer Owe Their Employees and How Does it Apply to Workplace Accidents?
The Occupational and Safety Health Administration, otherwise known as OSHA, is a government entity that defines and manages an employer’s responsibility for the safety of its employees. The administration outlines in detail the requirements that an employer must comply with in order to protect their workers from being harmed or even killed while on the job. OSHA has created standard requirements that companies must follow in order to protect their workers from hazards and dangerous work accidents. But what exactly are the employers required to do?
Standard Duty of Care
Employers are required to perform a standard duty of care. This means that a company must comply with a reasonable duty of care to ensure the protection and safety of its employees. The employer must act as a reasonably prudent person would act in the same or similar situation. This might entail removing any obviously dangerous or potentially hazardous material. Or simply providing extra safety devices in a situation where a reasonably prudent person would determine them necessary. For example, every time you go into a public building with a staircase there is always a hand rail to assist people in walking up and down the staircase. This is considered a reasonable action. The building owner understands that people will occasionally lose their balance when traversing a staircase and it is reasonable to provide a hand railing to prevent anyone from falling and hurting themselves. Therefore, they have fulfilled their standard duty of care.
Basically, an employer’s standard duty of care is to make sure that the work environment is as safe as possible in order to prevent potential work accidents. Another prime example would be the ventilation system at your work emitting a harmful or irritating chemical. Rather than simply providing its workers with masks to protect their nose and throat, under the standard duty of care the employer must do its best to diminish or eliminate altogether these toxic fumes. If the company simply wants to supply these masks as a cheap alternative to ventilating the air they are violating this duty of care. The reasonable standard of care would require the company to fix the ventilation system if that is a possibility.
If it’s not possible to completely fix the problem, then it would become the employer’s duty to provide other methods for protecting the health of the workers. If you have suffered an injury while working you will need an attorney who has extensive knowledge and understanding about employer responsibilities and work related injuries. Our Law Offices can help you understand your rights as an employee and help you seek recovery from all responsible parties.
OSHA Requirements for Duty of Care Can Be Job Specific
OSHA has declared that certain jobs have a higher duty of care than simply a general duty of reasonable care. OSHA states that the employer must act with a greater effort to preserve the health and safety of their employees in certain types of jobs. Some jobs have a greater potential and threat of harm and therefore these types of employers have a greater responsibility for ensuring the safety of their workers.
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For example, construction companies or companies that regularly work with hazardous materials owe a greater standard of care to their employees. Construction company employees are constantly surrounded by dangerous materials and vehicles and OSHA specifically outlines requirements that these companies must adhere to in order to protect its workers. Companies that work with hazardous materials like highly contagious viruses and diseases would have their own job specific requirements since their employees are exposed to extreme dangers on a daily basis.
Some cases are job specific and it’s important to discuss your case with a qualified attorney. Your attorney should have first-hand knowledge of work accident cases and be able to explain to you the duty of care that your employer owes you as a worker. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have over 20 years of experience handling workplace accidents. If you have been injured while working and would like to speak with one of our attorneys to discuss your rights call us. We’re here to help you day or night.
The Employer’s obligation to provide PPE
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Has the Failure of an Employer to Provide Personal Protective Equipment Resulted in the Serious Injury to You or the Death of Another?
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There are certain types of employment that warrant employee’s wearing special protective equipment so that they are not injured. When an employee is injured on the job, their employer may be held liable for these injuries. The amount of financial compensation that may be received for these injuries will turn on the specific circumstances of the accident that you were involved in. The Occupational Safety Health Administration requires employees to use personal protective equipment (PPE) under certain circumstances. If the employer is obligated to provide you with this equipment, then they are going to have to have some kind of program in place to ensure that their employees wear their protective gear and that they comply with OSHA requirements. Legally speaking, the question that naturally arises is whether or not it is your employer’s fault if you were not wearing personal protective equipment and you suffered an injury.
Depending on the type of occupation that you have and the hazards that you are exposed to will determine what you have to wear. Employer liability comes about when your employer fails to inform you of these dangers and provide you with the appropriate protective gear. If this occurs you may be able to assert employer negligence in order to recover for your losses. OSHA is an agency that is responsible for ensuring that employees are safe and work under nonhazardous conditions. Therefore, when an employer chooses to disregard these regulations they should be held liable for any ensuing injuries. This article will discuss the types of equipment often used and whether you may be capable of holding your employer liable based on their failure to provide you with the necessary protections.
What are the Employer’s Obligations?
Employers and employees alike should ensure that there is a safe work environment. However, there are certain obligations that are specifically imposed on employers. They are responsible for performing ‘hazard assessments’ of the work environments to evaluate any potential hazards. Secondly, they must identify what the necessary PPE is for their employees and make sure it is provided. They then have to train their employees in the using the equipment correctly. The maintenance of the protective equipment is also their responsibility and they must replace any damaged or worn out equipment. Lastly, they should continuously review and update their PPE program to make sure that it is running effectively and providing the protections it was intended to.
Types of Personal Protective Equipment
Eye and Face Protection
There are many hazards that can present serious dangers to the face and the eyes in certain types of occupations. If the employee happens to be exposed to chemical substances, acids or flying particles then they should have protection provided for their eyes and face. Common injuries that occur to this part of the body in the workplace are actually caused by improper eye protection that fails to guard the employee from these hazards. Consequentially, the employer must make sure that the protective face and eye equipment fits each worker properly and will protect him or her from these dangers.
The common types of eye and face protection that are used include goggles, face shields, welding shields, laser safety goggles and safety spectacles.
When an employer is evaluating what types of hearing protection to provide to their employees, OSHA has a list of factors that may guide them in the right direction. They need to consider how long the employees are around this noise and the loudness of it. They also must look to whether or not the employees are moving between different work areas that have different noise levels and whether the noise is generated from a single source or a number of different sources.
The common types of ear protection that are used are earmuffs, pre-formed or molded earplugs and single-use earplugs.
Foot and Leg Protection
If employees are employed in an occupation where they are exposed to possible foot and leg injuries they should be required to wear protective footwear. This also applies if your job exposes you to poisonous materials or dangerous substances that could injure any exposed body part such as your foot or legs. Some scenarios where foot and leg protection would be necessary would be if you work with heavy objects that may roll onto your feet or work or sharp objects that could penetrate through the soles or tops of shoes. Moreover, if you are exposed to molten metal or work around hot wet surfaces or when electrical hazards exist.
Some examples of foot and leg protection are toe guards, safety shoes, combination foot and shin guards, and leggings.
Additional equipment should be work if there are inherent dangers of bodily injury associated with a certain profession that cannot be eliminated. Examples would be if you were exposed to temperature extremes, hazardous chemical et cetera. There are certain types of fabric that can protect you from these dangers such as treated wool and cotton, leather, dock, paper-like fiber, and rubberized fabrics.
Last but not least, protecting employees from suffering head injuries is incredibly important. This is because head injuries typically result in life-long injuries or even death. Hard hats are the most common type of personal protective equipment because there are a number of jobs that involve potential head injuries. Some of these jobs would be carpenters, plumbers, welders, electricians, and many more. There are several different types of hard hats, all of which provide excellent protections to ensure that employees do not suffer one of these traffic accidents.
Does Your Employer’s Negligence Matter?
Under Texas law if your employer subscribes to workers compensation you are barred from suing them for their negligence. Worker’s compensation is a state-regulated form of insurance that employer’s may purchase in order to limit their liability significantly against employee injuries on the job. Basically, if they fail to provide you with personal protective equipment you cannot sue them for their negligence. You may only recover against them under worker’s compensation.
Comparatively, if they are a nonsubscriber failing to provide you with this equipment will constitute negligence and that alone may be enough for you to win your case. A nonsubscriber is an employer who has chosen not to opt into state run worker’s compensation.
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All of these different elements can seem confusing at first glance, however with the right attorney in charge of your lawsuit you stand to receive a sizable sum in compensation for your loss. Work injuries can be both physically and financially crippling, especially in the event that you are not able to return to work and suffer lost wages. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have been representing clients all over the state of Texas in their personal injury lawsuits. We can guarantee you that we will work diligently on your case so that you are capable of receiving the maximum recovery you truly deserve. To discuss your lawsuit in greater detail and receive a free consultation contact Our Law Offices.
Theories of Liability Against Non-subscribers
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Some of the Most Common Theories of Liability Which can be Used Against a Non-subscribing Employer
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Under Texas law, work injury cases asserted against employers who have elected to abstain from participating in Texas’ workers’ compensation program (often referred to as “non-subscribers”) are predicated upon claims that the employer caused their employee’s injuries through their negligence.
However, unlike injury cases caused by employers who have elected to participate in Texas’ workers’ compensation program (where there is an assumption that an employer must pay for an employee’s injuries), workers injured by a non-subscribing employer will need to prove that the employer is liable for their injuries because they acted negligently.
It’s important to note that although there are several different theories that can be asserted against a negligent employer, if your attorney can prove that they are even marginally liable for your injuries, you will likely be able to hold them liable for the full extent of your injuries.
Common Theories of Liability Against Non-subscribing Employers
Although a non-subscribing employer can be liable for injuries it causes its employees through a variety of negligence theories, we’ve identified the following as some of the more common ones.
Failure to Provide a Reasonably Safe Workplace
A central pillar of Texas employment law mandates all employers, regardless of industry, to provide their employees a “reasonably safe” working environment. However, defining what is “reasonably safe” may be a difficult endeavor, and many of the other theories discussed below are somewhat derivative of this simple duty.
A key component of providing a safe workplace may include providing employees adequately safe “personal protective equipment” (sometimes referred to as “PPE”). For example, an employer machine shop is probably required to provide all employees at risk of suffering eye injuries protective eye wear.
Failure to Adequately Train Employees
Similar to the duty to provide a safe workplace, Texas law requires employers to train employees so that they fulfill their job duties in a manner where they don’t injure themselves and are prevented from injuring coworkers. For example, companies involved in industries where lifting heavy objects is required must train their employees to lift heavy objects with appropriate technique and support.
Failure to Adequately Supervise Employees
The final common theory of liability we’ll discuss in this article is an employer’s duty to adequately supervise their employees. Within this requirement is the mandate to enforce safety policies appropriately. Thus, if you were injured as a result of your employer’s failure to adequately supervise one of your coworkers, you may be able to assert a workplace injury lawsuit against your employer to recover the compensation you need to recover from the injuries they negligently caused.
Our Experienced Workplace Accident Attorneys Can Help Apply These Theories of Liability (and more) to Your Accident Case
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As you may have already concluded, prevailing in lawsuits where even the most common theories of liability are asserted against non-subscribers likely requires the assistance of an experienced workplace accident attorney. Our attorneys have proudly represented Houston’s workplace injury victims for over twenty years, and may be able to put the skills and resources they’ve developed as a result to work for you.
If you would like information regarding how our firm may be able to help you recover the compensation for your injuries in a workplace injury case we invite you to give us a call any time, day or night.
What is OSHA?
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What is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and What is Their Purpose?
What is OSHA? “OSHA” stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As an agency of the United States federal government it’s goal is the safe and healthy working conditions of American workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Act, sometimes called the OSH Act, created OSHA in 1970. It’s headquarters are in Washington, DC, with about 2,300 employees and an annual budget of around $500 million.
If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you need a skilled accident attorney with experience dealing with OSHA and its regulations. Call Our Law Offices now to get help. Our staff is standing by to support you and your family.
OSHA’s goals are to provide and require the following to and from employers and employees in order to create safer working conditions across the country.
To meet its goals, OSHA sends compliance officers to work sites all over the country to inspect and report on violations of worker safety laws. Inspections are generally a) scheduled in advance at workplaces in which dangerous activities are taking place, or b) surprise inspections due to worker complaints or serious workplace incidents. OSHA also enforces several federal “whistle blower” laws which give employees and other insiders rights when they disclose misconduct in government and private enterprises. OSHA often works with the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in enforcement actions against responsible companies and parties.
Some specific jobs and workplaces are exempted from OSHA. This means that they are not subject to OSHA’s regulations. Examples are mines and quarries, airline flight crews and family farms. These exemptions exist because either the workplaces are regulated by other agencies (like mines and aircraft) or because compliance enforcement would not be efficient (like family farms).
Are you protected by OSHA regulations on your job? Can you make a complaint to OSHA about an injury you suffered while working? Should you? What are your rights? This is a complicated area of the law, one that requires experienced legal representation. Allow Our Law Offices to guide you through this unfamiliar and important process.
What About State Laws?
As in other areas of the law, federal laws regarding worker safety allow state laws to offer workers more protection, but not less. OSHA sets a floor that the states can build on but not go beneath.
People have been severely criticizing OSHA for decades. It has been argued that the agency simply does not do enough to protect workers with it’s 2,200 inspectors being responsible for over eight million work sites. Despite a significant budget and staff with powerful regulations on its side, OSHA has only secured a grand total of about a dozen criminal convictions in its more than 40 years of existence.
Furthermore, from 2000-2010, OSHA issued a total of four (4) safety and health standards. This was by far the smallest number issued in any decade of OSHA’s existence. Some have blamed the presidential administration in office during most of that time, which was apparently uninterested in passing or enforcing any meaningful regulations on businesses. During that time, an average of 14 workers a day were killed on work sites in the United States for a total of about 50,000 men and women over that 10-year period.
Our Houston Texas attorneys have won hundreds of work injury cases. Call us today to discuss your case.
To be sure, OSHA has a colossal job and is simply understaffed and under-budgeted to do it. If one of your loved ones is one of the approximately 5,000 people killed on the job each year in this country, help is available to your family.
If you are injured on the job, help is available to your family. Call the veteran legal professionals at Our Law Offices today.
When Does OSHA Investigate an Accident Case?
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What Needs to Happen Before OSHA Starts an Investigation Into a Workplace Accident Causing Injury or Death?
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The Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1971 established the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). OSHA is a federal agency that establishes and enforces workplace safety polices in an effort to prevent workplace accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Act provided a responsibility to all employers to provide a safe work environment for their employees. OSHA is responsible for investigating work places that they suspect to be potentially dangerous or where a workplace injury has occurred. If conditions are found to exist at the workplace that do not fall within OSHA standards, the employer will likely be assessed a substantial penalty.
Employees often fear reporting their employer for providing dangerous or hazardous work conditions because of the potential backlash they may receive. OSHA has provided a remedy for this in two ways: first, potential dangerous conditions may be reported anonymously; secondly, an employer is prohibited from disciplining an employee in any way who reports potentially dangerous working conditions. If you have been injured in a work accident because you were working in an unsafe work environment you will need the representation of an experienced attorney that knows how to get around the “red tape” that can accompany such accidents.
When Does OSHA Investigate a Case?
OSHA conducts most workplace inspections without notice to an employer. The exception to the no notice requirement is when they are inspecting a place that may be potentially dangerous or harmful for the inspectors, in such situations OSHA will give 24 hours of notice to the employer. It would be impossible for OSHA to investigate every potentially dangerous work condition in the country. It is this reason that OSHA has set a standard in which they review cases based on priority. OSHA has four categories of priorities:
The case that receives the highest priority from OSHA is those where imminent danger is likely. Imminent danger exists in situations where danger is reasonably certain to occur and such danger could cause death or serious bodily injury.
OSHA gives second priority to the investigation of work facilities where an accident that recently occurred has caused death or hospitalization. In such situations an employer is required to contact OSHA within eight hours to report such an incident to determine if any OSHA guidelines were violated.
The third priority in OSHA investigations is when OSHA receives employee complaints about an unsafe working environment. OSHA gives employees the ability to request an inspection of a work environment when they feel that they may be subject to potential harm because of the environment. The reporting of an unsafe working condition will remain confidential if requested.
The fourth and last priority for OSHA inspectors are the inspections of specific high-risk areas and occupations. Some of the factors that are used to determine whether a workplace qualifies as a high-risk subject are: frequency of previous accidents, previous OSHA citation history, and random selections.
What Should I do if I am Injured in a Workplace Accident?
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If you were injured in a workplace accident you or your attorney may request that OSHA investigate your work environment. While OSHA’s primary purpose is to make the workplace safe and not to help you collect damages or prove fault in your case, a favorable investigation from OSHA can be beneficial for you.
The representation of an experienced attorney who knows how to use these findings for your advantage can be most beneficial in these situations. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have more than 20 years of experience in personal injury law and know how to couple an OSHA investigation with our own investigation efforts to provide you with the strongest possible case. We have helped thousands of clients recover the damages that they deserve and we can help you too. Call for your free consultation.
Types of OSHA Workplace Investigations
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What Types of Investigations Does OSHA Conduct Following a Workplace Injury or Fatality?
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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency established in 1971 by the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA’s sole purpose is to assure American workers a safe and healthy workplace by developing and implementing workplace safety policies. Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, all employers must provide their employees a workplace that is free from known dangers, and where dangerous work conditions are suspected or a workplace injury has occurred, OSHA may inspect the workplace or investigate the cause of the accident. OSHA uses the findings of their inspections and investigations to provide recommendations to the employer and to prescribe new regulations for an industry.
It is important to note that federal law prevents your employer from punishing you for reporting a dangerous workplace condition to OSHA, and that you may submit your request for an inspection or investigation anonymously. If you suspect that you were injured because your workplace was unsafe, you will likely benefit from the counsel and guidance provided by an attorney familiar with workplace injuries like those at Our Law Offices as an independent investigation is usually necessary for you to fully recover from your injuries.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration Inspections
If you suspect that your workplace has failed to take adequate safety precautions to protect you from hazardous materials or that it is not safety compliant, you or your attorney can file an anonymous complaint with OSHA which will trigger an investigation of the work site. During the inspection, you and/or your attorney may attend and privately voice your concerns with the OSHA investigator. If violations of regulations are found during the investigation, the inspector will normally issue a citation in addition to identifying regulations that have been violated.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration Investigations
If you’ve been injured in an accident at your workplace, you or your attorney may contact OSHA to have the cause of the accident investigated. OSHA routinely investigates accidents that result in all kinds of bodily injury, death, or were caused by a catastrophe. OSHA may utilize a variety of equipment and experts while investigating the cause of your injuries including advanced industry-specific technology and accident reconstruction experts. However, it’s important for you to know that OSHA’s primary purpose is to make your workplace safe, not to ensure that you are compensated for your injuries. Thus, if you’ve been injured at your workplace, you should quickly retain an experienced personal injury attorney, who has the resources to conduct an independent investigation on your behalf to gather the evidence necessary to secure compensation for your injuries.
First, OSHA can investigate your employer for injuries resulting from your employer’s implementation of improper operating procedures, or for providing no operating procedures for dangerous activities. Improper operating procedures involve requiring and providing employees proper personal safety equipment, and to keep the work area free from all known and foreseeable safety hazards.
Second, OSHA can investigate your employer for injuries resulting from your employer’s failure to purchase or maintain equipment that is designed to be safe and to maintain structures that are safe to occupy while you work. Injuries resulting from your employer’s failure to obtain and maintain safe equipment include injuries that result when the equipment malfunctions or where a structure collapses on you while you work.
Third, OSHA can investigate your employer for injuries resulting from their failure to maintain a work site that was safe to endure environmental conditions. For example, if your injuries are attributable to exposure to heavy rains, strong winds, or excessive heat or coldness (dehydration or frostbite).
You Need a Smart, Experienced Attorney on Your Side if You’ve Been Injured at the Workplace
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If you’ve been injured on the job and suspect that your employers actions or failure to act caused your injuries by creating an unsafe workplace, your claims against your employer will likely benefit from retaining an experienced personal injury attorney. You should be aware that OSHA is a governmental agency that represents the public as a whole, and not necessarily your individual needs and rights.
To ensure that your rights are fully represented you need a strong advocate to be your voice in recovering for injuries that resulted from an accident that happened at your workplace. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have over 20 years of experience in representing victims of workplace accidents and are available any time to provide a free consultation regarding your workplace injuries.
How Can OSHA Help After a Workplace Accident?
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What Legal Remedies and Citations Can the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Provide?
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Our Houston work injury attorneys have won thousands of cases. Call us today to discuss your case.
If you’ve been injured on the job, you may have been referred to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) by a coworker and are wondering what role the agency plays in investigating your injuries and ensuring that similar accidents don’t happen again. OSHA is a federal agency that has been tasked with preventing workplace accidents by developing and implementing workplace safety policies. In implementing these policies, OSHA investigates accidents and performs workplace inspections at an employee’s request and also issues citations to employers that fail to follow guidelines.
As a general rule, OSHA may prescribe a wide range of remedies and citations against an employer in enforcing its policies. However, injured parties should note that OSHA is tasked with keeping work places safe, not with ensuring that you recover for your injuries. For that reason, retaining a personal injury attorney experienced with obtaining compensation for employees who are the victims of workplace injuries, like those at Our Law Offices, is essential to obtaining compensation for your injuries.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration Can Issue a Wide Array of Citations Against Your Employer for Failing to Provide a Safe Workplace
OSHA requires its inspectors to issue citations to employers who violate its provisions. Citations must be issued promptly, be in writing, and describe the nature of the violation. It will also give your employer a date and time by which the violation must be cured. Moreover, a copy of the citation will be posted near the scene of the violation in an effort to warn co-workers of the dangerous condition.
Unfortunately, OSHA has failed to update the penalties it includes in its citations since the 1970s. Thus, although the seemingly tough penalties of monetary punishment and/or imprisonment are available, they are often woefully inadequate to truly get the attention of a large employer with extremely deep pockets. For example, the largest single fine OSHA can levy on an employer at once is $10,000 and is only issued in the limited circumstance where the employer knowingly makes false statements or representations to OSHA officials. Simply put, most employers often find paying OSHA’s fines more cost effective than making the changes necessary to bring the workplace into compliance with OSHA regulations and the penalties often don’t get the attention of serious or repeat violators. Thus, to ensure that your employer takes the steps necessary to make your workplace safe for you and your coworkers, a large monetary judgment through a personal injury lawsuit is often needed.
Retaining an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Increases Your Chances of Obtaining an Adequate Remedy for Your Workplace Injuries
Although OSHA has prescribed a large variety of penalties against employers who do not maintain a safe work site, OSHA does not have authority to obtain penalties or judgments against your employer on your behalf. Thus, injuries resulting from your employer’s failure to maintain a safe workplace are generally grounded in personal injury law. As such, when you’re injured at the workplace you should retain a personal injury attorney. You shouldn’t wait for an OSHA report because those reports take 6-8 months to be written, unlike a police report that will only take a few days. Additionally, a personal injury attorney can get an independent investigation rolling for you which almost always provides more substantial evidence for your case than what OSHA’s reports provide. You should also note that OSHA will only investigate your employer and not third parties. In construction accidents in particular you should be aware that you need an experienced attorney to determine who was really at fault. OSHA’s report won’t include third party liability and thus an OSHA report alone often fails to provide the evidence necessary to obtain relief from all responsible parties.
You should also note that OSHA provides “whistle-blower” protection for employees. In other words, your employer is prevented from treating you adversely or otherwise punishing you for bringing your concerns to OSHA’s attention. OSHA specifically provides remedies for employees who are unlawfully prejudiced by attempting to keep their workplace safe, and may be entitled to reinstatement to their jobs, back pay for time missed, compensatory damages, including costs associated with asserting a lawsuit, and punitive damages in some cases. However, you should note that Texas’s unique workers compensation laws sometime make obtaining a judgment against your employer difficult. For these reasons, you should retain an attorney that is uniquely skilled in the diverse areas of law of workers compensation and personal injuries like those at Our Law Offices.
You Need an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney on Your Side if You’ve Been Injured at Your Workplace
If you’ve been injured on the job you likely have several questions and need representation by an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have more than 20 years of experience in representing people injured at the workplace.
Safety Guidelines for Commercial Fishermen
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Commercial Fisherman and the The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Administration
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As a commercial fisherman you are often subjected to a number of dangers and hazardous conditions in your profession. For these reasons, there are certain health and safety regulations in existence to protect you in your employment and keep you safe from harm. If your employer happens to stray from these guidelines and place you in the position where you could be injured, there are legal ramifications. These regulations have been put in place for your protection and therefore your employer will be held liable for violating them in the event that you suffer some kind of injury. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have a reputable law practice that has handled a number of claims involving similar injuries under these conditions. If you have been injured, then you have a right to be compensated for whatever loss you may have incurred from the failure of your superiors to comply with the guidelines that have been imposed on them. This article will discuss those health and safety guidelines that have been created for your benefit, emphasizing the need for you to obtain competent legal representation to assist you in obtaining the maximum recovery possible.
What Organization is Responsible for Creating Guidelines for Commercial Fisherman Safety?
The National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health is the federal agency that is charged with the duty to ensure that safety regulations are followed in commercial fishing to prevent any work related injuries. Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous occupations because of the exceedingly long hours and exposure to inclement weather conditions. This federal agency was created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act that was signed into law by President Nixon on December 29th of 1970. This entity is responsible for researching and gathering information on injuries that can occur in order to create appropriate standards for safety so that they may be readily enforceable.
What are the Health and Safety Guidelines that Protect Commercial Fishermen?
The National Institute for Occupational Safety has established a surveillance system in order to monitor any workplace fatalities or injuries that occur in the fishing industry in the United States. The data that was recorded for a time period of 10 years reported that there were 545 commercial fishermen that died while they were fishing in the United States. Of those deaths, more than 50% occurred following a disaster involving the shipping vessel that the fishermen were on. The remaining percentage were caused by fishermen either falling overboard, suffering an injury while on-board, or while diving.
Fishermen are recommended to take a marine safety class at least once during every 5-year period. Furthermore, they are told to do monthly drills to prepare for the possibility of the need to abandon ship, a flooding, fire, or when a man falls overboard. They are told to take heed of the weather forecasts in order to abstain from fishing in dangerous sea conditions and inspect the hull of the vessel and high water alarms to make sure that they’re fully intact. Comparatively, there are similar recommendations for the owners and operators of the vessel that parallel those of the fishermen. They are told to conduct monthly drills for the potential dangers of flooding, fire, abandoning ship and when a fisherman falls overboard. In addition, they are told to install a “Man Overboard” alarm system and install emergency stop devices on all machinery on-board the vessel to prevent injuries when fishermen are operating this machinery. Furthermore, they are charged with the duty of ensuring that all of the crew members have completed some marine safety training every five years.
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When considering the guidelines that have been described, it is evident that there are considerable dangers that commercial fishermen are exposed to when engaging in their chosen profession. While you as a fisherman have certain duties to follow while on-board, the owner and operator of each vessel must make sure that you are not placed in an uncharacteristically dangerous environment. If you have been subjected to some hazard or unsafe working condition during your employment and have suffered an injury, you have a right to be compensated for your loss. These policies were put in effect to protect you from injuries that could be avoided if the conditions were not unreasonably hazardous. If you have suffered an injury, the attorneys at Our Law Offices can provide you with experienced legal representation to assist you in being compensated for whatever pain or financial expenditure you have been subjected to. The process involving these federal agencies can be both confusing and unfamiliar. In order to protect your cause of action and rights under the law you need to retain legal counsel to assist you. Contact the attorneys at Our Law Offices at to discuss your potential claim.
Safety Guidelines for Production Line Workers
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Health and Safety Guidelines and Regulations to Prevent Injury to Production Line Workers
Production line workers form a crucial component of the workforce in the United States. Since the advent of the assembly line by Ford Motor Company a century ago, men and women have been asked to spend their workdays sitting or standing and sometimes both while doing production line work. Production line work can also be very hazardous to your health. Because of this accidents among production line workers are common.
If you have been injured while working on a production line, call Our Law Offices today. We represent workers from all walks of life injured in all kinds of ways. You have the right to be compensated for your production line injury: Our Law Offices enforces workers’ rights to compensation.
Training is the most crucial component for work on production lines and for most all work for that matter. Although production line work can be relatively simple, it can also be often very complex as well. And, either way, workers need to be trained on the best ways to avoid injury. Whether serious injuries caused by the most common workplaces accidents – falls, electrocutions and blunt force traumas – or less serious injuries caused by repetitive motions, workers on production lines need proper training in order to reduce the risks of injury.
Workplaces that are designed well give workers opportunities to work in various different positions so as to reduce repetitive stress injuries. Standing is generally a comfortable position for most people, but as we all know standing for extended periods of time over the course of a day can be exhausting, and standing for extended periods of time over the course of years can take serious tolls on our bodies.
When standing on a production line for hours at a time, flooring and footwear both become very important. Employees need clean, solid, durable, non-slip, level flooring to stand on, and they need comfortable footwear in which to do that.
Workers often sit at conveyor belts, workbenches, desks, tables, and other equipment during their entire shifts on production lines. One important thing to remember: those pieces of equipment should be adjustable so as to adapt to workers’ body types and workers’ tasks. Employers often try to save money by supplying their workers with the wrong kinds of equipment.
Standing and Sitting
Ideally, workers are given the opportunities to do their jobs either standing or sitting. This reduces fatigue on workers’ bodies and allows them the stretch and use different muscle groups throughout their shift.
If being forced to sit or stand – including being forced to sit or stand at cheap and unsuitable equipment – causes you to become injured, your employer has caused your injury and you have rights to financial compensation that Our Law Offices can enforce for your family and you.
Properly organizing a workers’ work space is also important. Workers need space to move around freely and at the same time tools and other items need to be close enough to allow workers easy access to them without injury.
Rest and Relaxation
Also important in terms of health and safety guidelines for production line workers is giving those workers opportunities to stretch, rest, relax and exercise. Repetitive motion and repetitive stress injuries are prevalent among workers who work on production lines. Workers should always be given ample opportunities to avoid these injuries by being given opportunities to rest and relax.
Production line jobs have formed the backbone of manufacturing work in this country for generations. However, If you have been injured doing this vital work, contact an attorney who can help you. Call Our Law Offices at right now.
Health and Safety Guidelines for Plumbers
Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Health and Safety Guidelines for Plumbers
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Legal Regulations and Safety Issues in Place to Prevent Injuries to Plumbers
In order to make sure that plumbing systems in homes across the state of Texas are installed properly, plumbers are held to certain regulations to make sure that no injuries result from any plumbing system that is installed or repaired incorrectly. If your home or business has been placed in the unfortunate predicament where your plumbing system malfunctioned and an injury resulted, you have a cause of action to recover for whatever damage to persons and/or property has resulted. There are certain organizations that have been established in order to guarantee that plumbing systems are correctly installed and maintained. These organizations impose guidelines for plumbers to ensure that all safety and health precautions are taken heed of to prevent any accident from occurring. These guidelines are not necessarily common knowledge and that’s why it is to your benefit to have a products liability attorney on your side to decipher this type of information for you.
If you have been injured you have a right to be compensated for whatever loss was inflicted as a result of such injury. To increase the likelihood that you will receive compensation, you must retain legal counsel to litigate your claim and make sure that you are not treated unfairly. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have experience handling personal injury lawsuits of this nature and are fully equipped to handle your case and make sure that your interests are represented to the absolute best of our ability. This article will focus on the different types of health and safety guidelines that exist for plumbers and the legal remedies available to you for any injury or loss you may have suffered due to a failure to comply with such regulations.
What Organization Monitors the Activities of Plumbers?
There are different organizations in existence that serve to regulate the plumbing industry in Texas. One of the largest is an organization called the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners whose sole mission is to ensure that the health and safety of the citizens of the State of Texas is given the utmost attention and importance in the installation and inspection of plumbing systems. The reasoning behind this is that any contamination of drinking water or other water systems that may result from improperly installed plumbing systems can have catastrophic outcomes. However, the fact that accidents still occur illustrates the fact that these organizations are not as effective as they should be. This is one of several reasons why you need an attorney familiar with these kinds of claims to make sure that your interests are represented when you are injured.
What Types of Injuries can Occur From Improperly Installed/Inspected Plumbing Systems?
There are several harmful outcomes that can result from the improper installation of a plumbing system that can result in injury and in severe cases, even death. Some examples of accidents that can occur are explosions, poisonous fumes, hospital medical gas contamination and fires. Furthermore, diseases can result from being exposed to any contaminated water that was caused by some improper conduct with regard to plumbing systems. This is because plumbing systems can deliver diseases such as dysentery, cholera and typhoid fever. Furthermore, if toxic gases such as carbon monoxide are not properly vented through a plumbing system then they can be released as well. Another frightening negative result from these systems is if the medical gas systems installed by plumbers deliver some kind of gas to hospital patients, which can increase their sickness or even result in death.
What are the Safety/Health Regulations Imposed by the Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners?
The Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners requires every licensed plumber and plumber inspector to complete a minimum of six hours of continuing professional education every license year in order to renew his or her license. This regulation is required by law. If you discover that a plumber that has worked on your plumbing system was not certified then that is “prima facie” evidence of negligence on their part.
If a person has been injured in some way then they must file a complaint and a complaint investigator will determine what has occurred and impose sanctions. These notifications and sanctions can also be used as evidence of negligence if the information is used correctly and effectively by a skilled attorney.
If you have been injured through some fault of a plumber in their installation or inspection of your plumbing system you have an absolute legal right to be compensated for your loss. However, to preserve your right to legal redress, you need to retain an experienced lawyer who knows how to handle these cases and will fight for you. That is what we can offer you at Our Law Offices. To discuss your potential claims contact us.
Safety Guidelines for Concrete Workers
Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Safety Guidelines for Concrete Workers
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Health and Safety Guidelines to Prevent Injury to Cement and Concrete Workers
Houston Texas Work Injury Lawyer
Men and women who work with cement and concrete for a living are in harm’s way, from the materials in cement to the dangers of working on construction sites. This article explores health and safety guidelines for men and women who work with cement and concrete. If you have been injured due to working with these materials or injured due to any work accident or working condition, call the well-known and trial-tested injury lawyers at Our Law Offices today.
In its broadest sense, cement simply means binding agent. Anything that binds or “cements” one thing to another is cement. In this sense of the word, countless men and women working in many types of industrial environments are exposed cements, both organic and artificial.
In its narrow sense, cement is a mixture of limestone, clay and gypsum. This kind of cement is frequently mixed with water and aggregate (gravel, sand and other crushed stones) to form concrete. Needless to say to anyone living in the developed world, cement and concrete are all around us. Cement and concrete are major ingredients in the roads and bridges we travel on, the floors we walk on, and the buildings we spend our lives in.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that more than a quarter of a million people make their livings manufacturing and installing cement and concrete in the United States. Of those, OSHA estimates that around ten percent (25,000) will suffer serious job-related injuries or sicknesses in any given year, and of those injured each year around 40 will lose their lives on the job.
Eye irritation caused by dusty conditions.
Nose and mouth irritation caused by dusty conditions.
Breathing difficulty, silicosis, bronchitis and even cancer caused by silica, an ingredient in cement.
Skin irritation and chemical burns caused by wet concrete.
Plus all the other kinds of injuries people suffer in industrial environments and on construction sites.
Health and Safety Guidelines
Those people exposed to cement and concrete dust should:
Wear respirators to limit the amount of dust they breathe in;
Wash the affected areas of their bodies very well with soap and water as soon as possible after exposure;
Wet concrete and cements before chipping, grinding and otherwise disturbing so as so keep dust levels down;
Eat and drink in areas that are not at all dusty in order to keep from swallowing cement dust and its component ingredients; and
Use filtered vacuums to clean dusty areas rather than dry brooms.
Those people working with or exposed to wet concrete should:
Wear proper, waterproof protective clothing, footwear and eye protection;
Make sure that clothing and footwear is free of wet concrete to prevent accidental exposures through the clothing;
Wash the contaminated area or areas of skin with cold water; and
Wash eyes contaminated with wet concrete with water for at least 10 minutes and then seek immediate medical attention.
And all workers in construction and industrial environments should generally:
Receive proper training on how to use equipment, tools, machines, respirators, safety equipment, et cetera;
Wear protective clothing, including respirators, when exposed to dusty conditions;
Wear ear and eye protection, when necessary;
Communicate with other workers so as to reduce everyone’s risk of injury; and
Houston Texas Work Injury Law Firm
Injured on the job? You have rights. Hurt by cement or concrete? The law is on your side; you need the right lawyer to enforce your rights to be made whole again. Trust Our Law Offices to bring your legal claim correctly, fairly and in a timely manner.
Call us today if you or a loved one has been hurt due to contact with cement and concrete, or hurt for any reason due to someone else’s carelessness or neglect. Our Law Offices’ staff members are available to answer your questions today, in English and Spanish. You can reach our staff members by phone.