One of the most important precautions that workers must go through before starting their job is workplace safety procedures and ensuring that their safety gears or equipment are working properly and are not damaged in any way. Nearly all states are legally required by law to train their workers and comply with the appropriate safety procedures. If they neglected their duty to provide proper training that resulted to a worker being injured on the job, the injured worker has the right to file a lawsuit despite the company not being the cause of the accident.
The most important factor in a personal injury lawsuit is to prove that the defendant (company) had a duty to provide safety training to the claimant (victim). Although not all entity involved in the project has the duty to train, it is generally understood that an entity is legally obligated to ensure the safety of the worker that they directed to perform the job. It is usually the claimant’s responsibility to present expert witnesses, through their personal injury lawyers, the defendant’s duties regarding safety training and how they breached their duty to train. It will be left to the jury to determine whether the defendant gave a reasonable amount of training upon which the accident occurred.
If the jury determined that the defendant did indeed breach their duty, they can be held responsible for negligence. If the accident resulted to a significant amount of injuries victim’s personal injury attorney can then help the claimant make the defendant liable for the damages and get fair compensation. Generally, compensation for personal injury claims cover for common damages such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and loss of normal life; nevertheless, compensation will only be awarded if the injury was directly due to the defendant’s negligence of their duty to train.
Workers in industries like manufacturing, construction, and mining face plenty of risks compared to most employees. Among these risks include toxic exposure. Most of the time, jobs in these fields require workers to deal with hazardous chemicals and substances. Unfortunately, their constant and prolonged exposure to these dangerous materials could pose serious risks to their health. Without proper regulation, the toxic chemicals commonly used high-risk industries could cause a worker to suffer from a lifelong medical condition.
According to the website of Houston personal injury lawyers of Ali Mokaram, toxic chemical exposure could lead to some of the most devastating diseases such as cancer (particularly leukemia and mesothelioma), Hodgkin’s disease and aplastic anemia. The damning effects of toxic exposure will require a lot of medical attention that could bring huge financial burden. There’s also emotional trauma and other psychological effects to account for. Considering these consequences, it’s important that employers prioritize and ensure a safe working environment for their valued workers.
The following are just some of the few suggestions made by the Department of Labor, through Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA), to help reduce the risk of toxic chemical exposure in workplaces across America.
The first, most simple solution for chemical hazards is the use of proper protective gear. However, OHSA also emphasizes that such requirements are not enough. They suggest that employers should aim to improve the processes in the workplace by updating administrative and work procedures. For example, imposing a rule on rotating tasks or adjusting work schedules can help make sure that no employee is exposed to a hazardous material for too long.
Another suggestion is making significant changes in engineering controls that could help contain toxic chemicals involved in the work process. An example OHSA offers is the isolation of the use of hazardous materials in a particular area in the venue. Still, they emphasize that the best recourse is to find alternative materials that are much safer to use.
Eligible employees for workers’ compensation insurance take it for granted that when the need arises, they will have no problems getting compensation for a legitimate workplace injury. However, there are guidelines that must be followed to avail of workers’ comp that most employees are not aware of. Failure to satisfy these guidelines could invalidate claims.
Workers’ comp is a no-fault insurance, so there is no need to prove causation aside from the fact that it was work-related. Even then, employers are not eager to make claims with their insurance companies because this will result in more costs to them in terms of premiums. So if an employee assumes the employer will take care if everything, then they could be making a costly mistake.
Each state has different guidelines for reporting a workplace injury, an important first step in making a claim. A Minnesota workers’ comp lawyer would be well aware that while the state Department of Labor and Industry emphasize that the employee is not responsible for submitting the First Report of Injury (FROI) form for workplace injuries in a timely manner, they do have to report the injury to the employer within 14 days of the incident or risk losing coverage on a technicality and obtain certain documents to validate a claim such as a Report of Work Ability form from an accredited health care provider.
Information from the website of the LaMarca Law Group, PC states that when a claim is denied because the employer declares that the employee failed to report the injury immediately, a workers’ compensation lawyer will point out that the state allows a worker 90 days to report the injury (depending on the state, of course). The employee may also file a claim directly with the state’s Workers’ Compensation Commission if the employer fails to do so.
It is important to know your rights and responsibilities as an employee when it comes to workers’ compensation. If in doubt, consult with a workers’ comp lawyer in your state for clarification and assistance for disputed claims.