According to OSHA, workplace accidents accounted for nearly 4,500 injuries and deaths last year. A startling fact because, the truth of the matter is, a majority of these accidents could have been prevented in some manner or another with a few simple precautions.
That's because, for example, many of the accidents that led to a person's death were from lax standards and poor leadership, or the simple fact that the company didn't have the proper procedures in place to prevent such a tragedy.
Further, the amount of accidents that occurred in the workplace in 2013 in which the individual was permanently injured and could no longer work, preventable accidents that were caused by workplace negligence, is just as staggering.
Most Common Types of Accidents
According to the BLS and OSHA, there are 10 common workplace situations where most of the infractions and citations take place, all stemming from employer fault. They are:
Knowing Your Rights
Fall protection; Hazard communication standard; Scaffolding; Respiratory protection; Electrical; Powered industrial trucks; Ladders; Control of hazardous energy; Electrical systems design; Machinery and Machine Guarding...
If you or a loved one was injured or killed on the job, you should know that you have a legal right to pursue legal action and sue for damages against the employer, even outside of worker's compensation. Some situations where this is true are:
- Being injured by a product that was defective.
- If you were exposed to a potential toxic substance.
- If your injury took place as a result of your employer's misconduct.
- If your employer does not have worker's compensation benefits.
- If you were injured by a third party.
It should be noted, too, that while worker's compensation does provide benefits and money to those who have experienced a workplace injury (though usually very low), they do not pay for aspects of the injury that may include things like pain and suffering. Worker's comp also does not pay out for punitive damages -- aspects of the case that target the employer and punish their negative workplace actions, egregious intentions, or dangerous situations.
How to Proceed with a Workplace Lawsuit
Step 1. Immediately speak to a doctor. It is important that your injury is documented and the degree outlined.
Step 2. Ensure that your employer files your case with worker's compensation. It is their job to do so. Ask for a filed copy.
Step 3. Consult with an attorney who is experienced with workplace injuries. Your rights and your future should be in able hands that can take care of you and the case.
Occupational accidents should never be looked at as something that comes with the job you do. If you are injured at work, stand up for your rights and speak to an attorney. Your ability to work in the future may count on it.