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Man injured at work after company refuses requested safety gear

A company in another state that repairs disaster-stricken buildings nationwide, including Colorado, was recently cited by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The citations were issued to both the employer of a worker who was injured at work and the staffing company that places employees with the company. OSHA determined that this workplace accident was entirely avoidable.

Investigators recorded that a temporary worker suffered severe contusions and fractured arms when he fell through a 12-foot high roof. It was reported that the worker requested a safety harness to protect him in the event of a fall accident. Although this would have prevented the worker's injuries, the request was refused. According to OSHA, the company issued all workers with the necessary safety equipment on the day following the accident, showing that it was well aware of the safety regulations.

Host employers and staffing agencies share the responsibility for workplace safety, and OSHA cited the staffing company for failing to perform regular inspections of its client's worksite to ensure a hazard-free environment for workers that are placed there. This responsibility includes the commitment of both entities to provide safety training as required by OSHA; each entity is also require to fulfill record-keeping requirements and maintain hazard communications. OSHA reported that neither the host company nor the staffing agency reported the hospitalization of the injured worker within the required 24 hours.

Colorado workers who have been injured at work may be entitled to pursue compensation for medical and other expenses. If it is a temporary worker who was placed by a staffing company, he or she will have to check whether workers compensation coverage is provided by the host company or the staffing agency. Covered employees will typically receive compensation for medical expenses related to the work accident as well as lost income based on his or her latest wage level.

Source: workerscompensation.com, "Texas Worker Injured After Being Denied Safety Equipment", July 22, 2015

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Eley Law Firm
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