There is no doubt that certain jobs are more dangerous than others are. For example, a police officer faces the potential for physical injury on a daily basis, while an office or factory worker would not experience the same kinds of risks. However, workplace accidents can occur in any field of work. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) establishes standards and rules that detail the methods that employers must use to protect their employees from dangers and hazardous conditions. OSHA standards regulate construction work, maritime operations, and general industries. Regardless of the type of industry or injury, Illinois employees are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are hurt on the job.
Common OSHA Violations
Even though OSHA falls under the U.S. Department of Labor, which is a federally regulated agency, employers or workers sometimes ignore or cut corners on safety standards. According to OSHA and the National Safety Council’s Safety + Health magazine, a few examples of commonly cited OSHA violations include failures related to:
- Fall protection
- Control/containment of hazardous materials
- Respiratory protection
- Machine guarding
- Eye and face protection
- Powered industrial trucks
The lack of adequate training or maintenance can impact the chances of an accident. In addition, faulty or defective equipment can cause a workplace injury. For instance, if an employer does not provide handrails on elevated platforms, a worker could lose his or her balance and fall.
Apparatuses such as scaffolding or ladders should be regularly inspected by the company to ensure they do not collapse when a person is using them. Protective gear for employees is intended to prevent exposure to toxic chemicals. Likewise, protections such as locks or guards can shut down machines in the event of a malfunction. Any vehicles that are used for work must undergo routine maintenance checks to make sure their brakes work properly.
Fault in a Workers’ Comp Claim
An injury sustained on a construction site may be different from tripping and falling in an office building. Whether a job-related injury occurs outside or inside, the consequences can be debilitating depending on the circumstances. Illinois has a “no-fault” statute for workers’ compensation claims. This means an employee does not have to prove who was at fault for the injury but just that the injury occurred at work. It also means that violating OSHA standards will not automatically disqualify an injured employee from obtaining workers’ compensation benefits.
Unfortunately, workers’ comp insurance carriers are often slow to pay claims that involve OSHA violations. If you have been injured at work due to a suspected OSHA violation, it is especially important to put a qualified attorney on your side.
Contact a Joliet Workplace Injury Attorney
Depending on the type of industry, some occupations may be more hazardous than others. However, accidents can happen in any profession, and this is why Illinois employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you or someone you know was hurt while performing your job, you may be entitled to compensation, but it is imperative that you speak with an accomplished Will County workers’ compensation lawyer right away. Call McNamara Phelan McSteen, LLC today at 815-727-0100 to schedule your free consultation.