One reason that people get hurt on the jobs is because employers fail to follow appropriate health and safety standards. Some employers will do anything to keep violations from getting reported, including intimidating employees or claiming they can’t get workers compensation benefits if they report the violation.
Yet the law is very clear. Employers may not retaliate against you for reporting an OSHA violation, nor may they deny your workers compensation claim. This doesn’t mean that they won’t try, but it’s not legal and it could open them up to sanctions by the court.
Of course, if you are going to find yourself in the position of having to report an OSHA violation on top of everything else you might want to retain an attorney so you can protect yourself as you do so.
Filing an OSHA violation won’t render you ineligible for benefits either. There is no link between whether you can get benefits and whether you file a complaint. If you were injured on the job and you yourself weren’t violating any laws or company policies then you should be able to make your workers compensation claim.
In fact, if you are seriously injured and your employer was violating the law then you may even be able to pursue additional compensation. Speak to your attorney about whether this may be true in your case.
Note that employers themselves are supposed to be reporting injuries. These are used to help investigate occupational health and safety claims. If an employer has too many accidents, illnesses, or injuries it might trigger an investigation. This is why some employers try to get around the reporting requirement.
How do you file an OSHA complaint?
Call OSHA at 1-800-321-6742 to report the violation. You can also fax, email, visit a local OSHA office or use the online complaint form. You should absolutely report serious hazards such as blocked entries and exits, a lack of necessary PPE, exposure to dangerous substances, a failure to provide adequate fall protection, a lack of proper machine guarding techniques, or a failure to train employees on adequate safety measures.
Still got questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out to Talone Law today.