Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations have proven to reduce dangerous incidents on construction sites. In fact, American worker deaths have decreased from 38 deaths per day in 1970 to 14 per day in 2017, and workplace related injuries and illnesses are down from 10.9 percent to 2.8 percent in the same timeframe, according to recent data from OSHA.
Despite a jobsite’s best efforts to stay compliant with OSHA regulations and a team’s best efforts to stay safe, construction accidents can still occur. After any incident, large or small, OSHA lawyers can help your company navigate what comes next.
How OSHA Attorneys Help with Minor Incidents
Minor incidents are bound to occur on a construction jobsite. Minor injuries include sprained ankles or other muscles, over-exertion, heat strokes, broken bones, minor burns, and accidents with smaller tools. However, any injury involving hospitalization for medical observation, diagnostic testing, amputation, loss of an eye, or serious permanent disfigurement will need to be reported to OSHA. If you are unsure if an injury on your jobsite needs to be reported, an OSHA lawyer can provide insight into your legal requirements.
Legal counsel can also provide guidance if an employee files a worker’s compensation claim. It is helpful to have an attorney who is knowledgeable of both OSHA and employment law so that you understand your rights and are better able to provide proper assistance to the injured employee.
Why OSHA Lawyers are Necessary after Major Accidents
It’s a topic that no contractor or employee wants to think about, but one that is important to prepare for: major accidents and fatalities. Major accidents include work-related hospitalization, amputation, loss of an eye, major burns, and death.
Major accidents can have a number of causes, including falling debris, electrocution, fires or explosions, trench collapses, machinery malfunction or misuse, “caught in-between” hazards, or struck-by hazards. However, year after year, falls account for at least one-third of workplace related accidents and deaths, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
No matter the cause of the accident, if someone has suffered a major injury or fatality on your jobsite, it is important to contact an OSHA attorney immediately. Major incidents must be reported to OSHA in a timely manner. Fatalities must be reported within eight hours, and major accidents including work-related hospitalization, amputation, and loss of an eye must be reported to OSHA within 24 hours. An OSHA attorney will walk you through the requirements for reporting incidents, advise you what documentation is necessary to provide OSHA inspectors, and discuss what you should do next.
The OSHA lawyers from Cotney Construction Law know the steps your business should take after a minor or major accident. From drafting and updating safety manuals to providing third-party audits and OSHA defense, our attorneys are committed to ensuring that your jobsite remains safe and compliant with OSHA regulations.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.