Craig Rosenbaum | March 30, 2020 | Workplace Injuries
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is in charge of regulating workplace safety in many states.
In New York, OSHA is the regulator in charge of private workplaces; the state has its own agency to oversee the safety of public employees.
OSHA will investigate most serious work accidents, as employers have a duty to report them within a specified timeframe. OSHA can also investigate based on complaints unrelated to an accident and may also conduct random inspections.
Employers subject to OSHA’s authority must follow the agency’s safety regulations. If during an investigation OSHA discovers that the employer violated the safety rules, OSHA will likely fine the employer and require the employer to correct the issue.
It is not OSHA’s job to ensure that any worker who got hurt, or died, as a result of a work accident, even if OSHA finds that the employer broke safety standards or that the accident was otherwise preventable.
However, an OSHA inspection report, or a fine, can be valuable evidence to an injured worker or his or her family.
The reason it is valuable is that the report in a way proves the company in some respect broke the rules and, thus, may have acted carelessly.
New York workers who are only seeking worker’s compensation may see relatively little value in OSHA’s findings simply because they can draw compensation without regard to fault.
However, it is often the case that other parties, aside from an injured victim’s employer, are responsible for the victim’s injuries.
For instance, an employee of a subcontractor may get hurt at a construction site because a general contractor, another subcontractor, or even the landowner did not follow proper safety standards.