When employers don’t take health and safety in the workplace seriously, the outcome isn’t always pretty. Slips, falls, and other accidents or physical and mental health problems can occur when safety standards are ignored.
From construction and food service to the medical field and more, there are many ways workplace safety can be put at risk because of unsafe work practices or blatant disregard for federal regulations. The team of Minnesota employment attorneys at Lotas Legal offers comprehensive legal services for workplace safety issues such as OSHA violations.
Why Is Workplace Safety So Important?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a regulatory government agency offering safety guidelines for workplaces across industries. From food safety to construction practices, OSHA keeps workers (and employers) from creating an unsafe work environment.
Violations of OSHA standards can have severe consequences. Aside from physical and mental injury, workplace safety violations might even ultimately cause death. It’s essential for workers to follow the proper safety protocols during daily operations. Employers must also adhere to OSHA standards to keep staff protected from potential injury or fatalities.
Types of OSHA Violations
There are four primary ways workplaces often violate OSHA standards, putting the health and safety of employees at risk. Investigations into OSHA compliance in the workplace can uncover several issues, which are categorized into different kinds of violations, including:
- Willful: OSHA requirements are willingly ignored
- Repeated: Repeat violations continue occurring even after previous citation
- Serious: Workplace hazards with severe consequences, including serious injury or death, are apparent
- Other-than-serious: Obvious workplace hazards can still impact health and safety but are not fatal
Annual OSHA inspections or evaluations from an accredited agency will determine if any citations are necessary. Companies can face steep fines and penalties depending on the type of infraction found.
Common Workplace Safety Violations
After OSHA completes inspections of working conditions and practices, citations are made for any violations. The most commonly reported citations for workplace safety violations include:
- Fall protection
- Machine guarding
- Ladders and scaffolding
- Vehicular safety
- Respiratory protection
- Eye and face protection
What to Do When You See Unsafe Work Practices in Action
If you notice a continuance of unsafe work practices or your employer is completely ignoring OSHA safety regulations, you can report the violations. Employees can file a complaint with OSHA online, but first, you should contact an experienced workplace safety attorney for assistance.
When you formally complain about current work practices or conditions, you’re considered a whistleblower. Lotas Legal handles whistleblower cases of every kind, ensuring you’re protected from any potential retaliation after filing a complaint about OSHA violations in the workplace.
Legal Support After Reporting Workplace Safety Violations
Reporting workplace safety violations to OSHA takes a lot of courage. Although you could potentially be saving lives, sometimes OSHA reporting can lead to retaliation or discrimination in the workplace. Retaliation can take many forms, but most often looks like the following:
- Changes in hours
- Salary or wage cuts
- Demotions or denial of promotions
- Limited mobility within the company
- Targeted harassment
- Removal from teams or projects
- Wrongful termination
If you’re feeling retaliated against by your employer after reporting unsafe working conditions or work practices, you need legal support. Speak with an employment retaliation attorney you can trust. Learn more about how you can secure the damages and compensation deserved after OSHA report retaliation with help from Lotas Legal.
Injured on the Job? You Have Options
Workplace injuries are no joke. Getting hurt on the job can have a significant impact on your income and overall quality of life. Figuring out how to apply for workers’ compensation or disability benefits can seem extremely daunting. Lotas Legal is ready to assist you as you explore every option after a workplace injury.
We’ll walk you through the process of applying for workers’ compensation benefits and bring you justice. We take an “un-firm” approach to each workplace safety case, advocating on your behalf when you’ve been injured. Secure lost wages or permanent disability benefits with help from the knowledgable team of workplace safety lawyers at Lotas Legal.
Our Workplace Safety Attorneys Are Always on Your Side
Lotas Legal handles workplace safety issues of all severity levels for employees working in any industry. Whether you’re injured on a construction site or see unsafe work practices within your processing plant or medical facility, our Minnesota lawyers are here to help. Lotas Legal provides OSHA-related workplace safety services such as:
• Employer investigations
• OSHA investigations
• Whistleblower complaints
• Litigation, mediation, and negotiation
• Alternative dispute resolution
• Compliance counsel
• And more
It’s never okay to continue working in an environment where your or your colleagues’ health and safety are put at risk. Workplace safety should always be a top priority, regardless of the type of business. Employers are responsible for adhering to OSHA standards so all staff can maintain their mental and physical wellbeing.
At Lotas Legal, our team of Minnesota workplace safety attorneys works hard to help people and employers affected by workplace safety issues. Contact us today to learn more about your options when combating workplace safety issues with Lotas Legal at your side.