How OSHA Fall Protection Violations Affect Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Falls are the most common ways that workers could get seriously hurt or even killed while working. So it’s disappointing to see that fall protection once again topped OSHA’s list of most commonly violated safety standards in the workplace for 2020. This is the 10th year that fall protection topped this notorious list, and it is simply unacceptable.
Basic OSHA Fall Protection Standards
OSHA requires employers to set up workplaces that prevent workers from falling off raised workstations, overhead platforms, or into holes found in walls or floors. It also requires employees to provide proper fall protection at specific elevations during longshoring operations and in general industry workplaces, construction industry, and shipyards. In addition, employers must prevent employees from getting hurt from falls by:
- Providing a toe-board and guardrail around all elevated runways, floors, or open-sided platforms.
- Guarding all floor holes into which workers could accidentally fall into with the use of floor hole covers or toe-boards.
- Regardless of height, employers must provide toe-boards and guardrails to prevent workers from getting hurt and falling if there’s a possibility that a worker could fall onto or into dangerous equipment or machines in the workplace.
Holding Employers That Violate OSHA Fall Protection Safety Standards Accountable
Despite all OSHA’s efforts to enforce its fall protection safety standards, blatant violations and failure to provide adequate fall protection measures still occur in various workplaces regularly. While some violations occur more frequently than others, regardless of the particular violation, failing to maintain these fall safety standards could result in serious, life-changing, or even fatal injuries to employees.
Fortunately, workers’ compensation insurance enables injured workers to claim benefits that will help them cover the expenses they’ve incurred due to their workplace injuries. If you suffered injuries in the workplace, you might qualify for medical, income, and other relevant benefits under workers’ comp.
However, the workers’ compensation claims process could be confusing and overwhelming for some. A slight error in the claims process could cost you money, time, and timely medical treatment.
It’s also crucial to note that while negligence does not matter when claiming workers’ comp benefits, there are sometimes exceptions to this rule, such as in cases where an employer violates an OSHA safety standard. In such cases, an injured worker could file for more damages through a third-party injury claim.
If the worker could prove that the employer knowingly violated the OSHA standard and/or intentionally chose not to fix it, the injured worker might be able to claim pain and suffering and other relevant damages.
Get In Touch with an Experienced West Palm Beach Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Now
Suffering from a workplace accident? Keep in mind that employers (and their insurance companies) will try to defend themselves against accusations of OSHA violations, so having a lawyer on your side throughout the workers’ compensation claims process and/or injury claim is crucial to recovering the compensation you deserve for your losses.
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