Construction worker using laptop at site

How Does OSHA Protect Workers?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nearly 150,000 construction-related accidents every year. Furthermore, around 20 percent of all private industry worker accidents were in construction in 2019. With so many accidents on job sites and increased risk of injury or death, the United States government established the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure safe working environments through standards, regulations and education.

What is OSHA?

Over 50 years ago, Congress enacted the ‘Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970’ with the primary goal of ensuring that employers provide their workers with environments free from hazards. Through this act, OSHA, along with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), was created.

OSHA is a regulatory agency that governs the safety and practices of nearly 130 million workers across the country. Compliance officers perform inspections and assess fines for any violations found. Inspections can be conducted randomly, scheduled for hazardous industries or triggered by worker complaints.

Rules and Regulations

Under the OSH Act, employers must provide their employees with a safe workspace. Should they find potential hazards or safety concerns, the employers must make attempts to eliminate them before resorting to relying solely on personal protective equipment (PPE). Among others, employers are also obligated to:

  • Provide safety training to their employees.
  • Keep records of work-related injuries.
  • Provide PPE to all workers at no cost to the employee.
  • Notify OSHA of any workplace fatality or in-patient hospitalization.

Employees, on the other hand, have the right to:

  • A hazard-free workplace.
  • File an anonymous complaint with OSHA.
  • Receive copies of workplace injuries, deaths and tests performed on safety conditions.
  • File complaints with OSHA if an employer retaliates for being a “whistleblower” on safety concerns.

Violations

OSHA does not set standards for just the employers. Workers themselves are also expected to conduct their business in a professional and safe manner. Should an employer, worker or other entity be found in violation of any regulations pursuant to the OSH Act, OSHA compliance officers may issue a citation and assess a penalty depending on the severity of the violation. Maximum penalty assessments can be found in the table below:

ViolationPenalty
Serious$14,502
Failure to Rectify$14,502 per day unrectified
Intentional or Repeated$145,027 per violation

Chicago Construction Accident Attorneys

For almost 70 years, Anesi Ozmon has been fighting for the rights of those injured in construction accidents and securing their deserved compensation. If you have been injured in a construction accident or are seeking justice on behalf of a lost loved one, let us guide you with the legal representation you need to find peace.

Call us today at (312) 779-6610 or fill out a form online to schedule your free initial consultation.

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