Your employer is expected to provide a reasonably safe work environment. This means correcting issues or processes that can result in accidents and keeping the building and equipment in good condition so it’s safe to use at all times. But not all employers are responsible and many overlook the importance of workplace safety.
When this happens, employees can file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). But what happens if you file a workers’ compensation claim and a complaint with OSHA? Here’s what your Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers want you to know.
What Is OSHA and What Do They Do?
Simply put, OSHA is a federal organization that oversees the safety and working conditions throughout the United States. Every employer is subject to their rules and regulations regardless of size. If your employer violates any of the terms, you’re allowed to file a complaint with OSHA.
This complaint should result in a formal inspection of your employer’s facility. During that inspection, they’ll look for hazards and, if they find any concerns, they may issue a citation and fine to your employer.
Can You File an OSHA Complaint and a Workers’ Comp Claim?
OSHA complaints and workers’ compensation claims are two separate things. If you’re injured at work, you’re entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim to receive compensation for your injuries and your medical treatment. But if you’re injured at work as a result of your employer’s negligence and violation of OSHA protocols, you’re entitled to file a workers’ compensation claim and file a complaint with OSHA.
Filing for workers’ compensation doesn’t mean you can’t file a complaint with OSHA, and filing a complaint with OSHA doesn’t mean you can’t file a workers’ compensation claim. You may decide it’s worth filing both, and that’s completely fine.
How OSHA Complaints Impact Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Though filing an OSHA complaint won’t keep you from being able to file a workers’ compensation claim, it can actually impact the amount you receive from your claim. It all depends on how your employer responds to the initial complaint.
If your employer accepts the citation OSHA issues them, doing so can result in an increase in your workers’ compensation settlement. If the complaint is resolved or your employer is found to not be in violation of OSHA regulations, your workers’ compensation settlement will likely stay the same.
It Depends on Your Employer’s Efforts
After receiving the citation, your employer is entitled to consult with an attorney to determine if they took the necessary safety precautions to reduce hazards and the risk of employee injury. If they made a good-faith effort to keep employees safe, they may be able to contest the citation. But if they’re found to be negligent or willfully ignored safety precautions and regulations, they’ll have to pay the fine and you may see an increase in your workers’ compensation settlement.
Consult With an Attorney
If you’ve filed a complaint with OSHA and are worried about retaliation from your employer or want an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney to review your settlement, contact Anesi Ozmon today. Our experienced team will work to help you get a fair settlement, whether your employer violated OSHA guidelines or not.