Every year around the country, unsafe work environments result in workplace accidents. It is far too common to hear reports of failure of employers to maintain equipment, provide safety equipment, and provide proper training.
When employees are involved in workplace accidents, it is easy to shift the blame, though it is possible that the employee never received adequate safety training or even has the credentials necessary to perform their job in a safe manner.
Poorly trained employees can pose a danger to themselves and other workers at a company. There are several ways in which workplace training can improve performance and reduce the risk of injury. Employers have a responsibility to protect their workers through constant training processes.
If management fails to train employees or provide safety equipment, they may be in violation of U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, and may be liable for any injury that occurs during the workday.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated workplace injury attorney representing plaintiffs nationwide in a wide variety of labor violation cases involving workplace accidents.
Workplace Accident Causes
Workplace accidents are a unfortunately a daily occurrence, and numerous work site hazards may play a role in worker injuries sustained in Ohio and across the country. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set forth regulations for employers, encouraging safe work practices and safe work environments.
However, all too often, companies and management are negligent and fail to provide workers with a safe workplace. Supervisors and foremen can be too lax about workplace safety and fail to train workers about the hazards of jobs in certain industries. Worker fatigue is also a common culprit in workplace accidents, when overtime and long hours add up.
Employers regularly underestimate the dangers of certain work sites, and often fail to provide workers with the proper safety gear and protective equipment. Should an employer not provide a worker with all the safety gear mandated by OSHA regulations, an injured worker may file a negligence claim against the responsible party and recover damages for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses and long-term disability.
Improper Employee Training
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace. It is part of the OSHA’s mission is to ensure no person should ever have to be injured, become ill, or die for a paycheck.
The same OSHA law gives employees the right to file whistleblower claims when an unsafe work environment leads to accidents and injuries. Employees are protected from retaliation and wrongful termination.
To make sure American workers have the right to a safe work environment, and to prevent factory accidents, proper training must include the following:
- Adequate protective equipment—goggles, masks, gloves, ear protection
- Certified forklift and hand truck training
- Training on flammable liquids
- Training on toxic substances in the workplace
- Asbestos training (if on premises)
- Proper warning signage
- Electrical safety training
- Ventilation standards
Common Training Failures
- Unqualified Employees: Job training is crucial, and employers are often at fault for leaving new hires to figure out daily tasks on their own. This lazy approach can be dangerous and increases the risk of a workplace accident. Also, keeping workers with a poor safety record on staff could be negligent in the event of an accident.
- Unknown Safety Procedures & Protocols: Many jobs that involve the use of machinery and heavy equipment can be inherently dangerous. However, educating employees on the proper ways to limit safety risks and to respond in an emergency will greatly reduce the chance of accident and injury.
- Lack of Supervision: Particularly for new employees, it is important for management and supervisors to remain vigilant to correct any behavior that may risk the health or well-being of all workers.
- Employees Uninformed of Safety Risks: For the benefit of the company and all workers, employees require detailed information on the risks of slip and fall accidents, fire evacuation, toxic materials, robotic machines, confined spaces, flammable liquids, electrocution hazards, asbestos materials, and vehicle procedures.
- Failure to Keep Accurate Training Records: Employers have a duty to keep records training and qualifications their employees. This will helps employers use their resources effectively by providing training to those who need it. Often times, employees require new certifications to operate forklifts and other machinery.
- Employees Not Provided with Safe Task Equipment: a worker who is injured by lifting very heavy objects may have a claim against an employer for not providing equipment to assist them in this task. If a worker is injured handling dangerous chemicals without being issued proper safety gear, they may also have a claim.
- Unsafe Scaffolding & Defective Harnesses: Construction sites are some of the most dangerous work sites for employees year after year, and many accidents occur due to defective scaffolding and harness defects.
Industries Associated with Accidents
Workers across the country suffer serious injuries on a daily basis, the majority resulting from accidents that are considered preventable. Negligent management and poor training contribute to thousands of workplace injuries each year, and companies may be held liable in many cases.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there were 164 fatal occupational injuries in the year ending 2016, and thousands of other severe, debilitating injuries in various industries throughout Ohio.
Workplace Accident Lawsuits
When workplace accidents occur, it is common for the victim and employer to assign blame to one another. The injured worker can be blamed for not being careful, and the employer is accused of not providing a safe work environment.
Because these situations can be complicated, it is advisable to seek out legal assistance. The Lyon Firm can investigate the causes of a workplace accident and injury, and work toward filing successful claims against negligent employers.
The Lyon Firm has experience investigating workplace injury cases, with the help of industry experts, engineers, workplace injury lawyer, and OSHA staff to determine the root cause of industrial accidents to build a strong case for injured victims and their families.
Injured victims are encouraged to preserve evidence, photographs, medical records and refrain from sharing related information on social media.