Workplace injuries are very common. It is estimated that every year there are approximately six million workplace injuries in the United States. Of that number, approximately 6,000 employees die from their injuries. In addition, about 50,000 people die from illnesses that are due to exposure to workplace hazards. The United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) oversees safety in the workplace.
The OSH Act
The OSH Act was enacted in 1970 by Congress to provide “safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources.” The OSH Act sets forth standards and regulations that must be followed. The Georgia Department of Labor addresses workplace health and safety in regards to labor laws, as well as educational resources for employers and employees across the state. Employers are required to provide a safe workplace for employees and must ensure that employees have the proper safety training required for their particular job.
Georgia Department of Public Health Injury Prevention Program
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has an injury prevention program in place to help reduce injuries. The program is designed to provide information, training, and resources to groups, companies, and individuals about injury prevention. The program works with many communities and the Department of Public Health partners to disseminate information across the state. They also have academic partners as well as national partners, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA, and the National Safety Council, among others.
Reporting an Unsafe Workplace
Employees should be aware of the particular dangers associated with their jobs so they can take the appropriate precautions. If you encounter unsafe or unhealthy conditions you should report the problem to your employer. If the problem persists, you have the right to report the problem to OSHA. You can file a report without fear of retaliation by your employer. You may file an OSHA complaint online, by fax, mail, or by phone. OSHA will inspect the workplace and the company may receive citations if violations are found.
Employers are not allowed to terminate your employment or take any other actions against you in retaliation for reporting a safety complaint. It is completely within your rights to file a report. If you feel your employer discriminated against you because of filing a report, you have the right to file a discrimination complaint. You must file the complaint with OSHA within 30 days of the alleged discriminatory action. Whistleblower complaints must be filed either through the state or through OSHA.
If you were hurt as a result of an unsafe condition at work your employer must provide you with medical care through workers’ compensation insurance. In addition, workplace injuries must be reported to OSHA. OSHA tracks on-the-job injuries and deaths and will take appropriate action to resolve a safety problem in the workplace.
When you are injured on the job, you should not have to worry about paying for medical care or for your lost wages during recovery. Contact our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at The Bader Law Firm to discuss your options.
Seth Bader is an Auto accident, Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Atlanta, Rome, Savannah, Norcross, Carrollton, Georgia. He graduated from Florida State University College of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years. Seth Bader believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.