When an employee is injured in a work-related accident, that employee can seek workers' compensation benefits. These benefits can help with medical expenses and lost wages as the employee recovers from the injury.
Work accidents can occur if the work environment is unsafe. From an office job to working on a construction site, workers can be put in danger if there are hazards. Some accidents can cause permanent injury or even death if employers fail to take safety precautions to protect their employees. But what happens if a work environment does put employees at risk of an injury?
When there are reports of safety violations in a workplace, OSHA will typically step in to investigate. If there are in fact violations found, OSHA will issue citations to the employer resulting in thousands of dollars in penalties.
Earlier this month, a Colorado oil field company was fined by OSHA for several violations that could have caused serious physical harm or death to its employees. Some of the violations included:
- Inadequate training for employees regarding hazardous chemicals
- Inadequate protection for spray painters
- Inadequate eye protection for employees
- Inadequate employee training for fork truck use
As a result, the oil field company has to pay over $50,000 in fines. One purpose of the citations is to ensure that employers make changes so that they are no longer violating safety regulations. If at a later time it is discovered that the company is still in violation of regulations, they can be issued repeat violations.
The more safety hazards in a work environment, the greater the risk of a work accident. And as the risk of a work accident occurring increases, workers are also at a greater risk of getting injured or killed.
Source: OSHA Regional News Release, "US Labor Department's OSHA cites Delta Oilfield Tank Co.," 11 July 2011