What Are OSHA Safety Standards?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is part of the U.S. Department of Labor, and its sole purpose is to prevent workplace injury and deaths. They draft and enforce regulations to prevent serious workplace accidents, but not all employers comply with these standards. If you were injured aboard a vessel that failed to uphold the rules and regulations required by OSHA, you need to seek legal counsel.
If an offshore accident occurs and an employer is found to be in violation of OSHA regulations, they can face serious consequences—including being held liable for all injuries and losses. Our offshore injury lawyer can fight on your behalf to help you recover what you’ve lost, including medical costs, long-term health expenses, lost wages, diminished lifetime earnings, and more. One of our first tasks when we investigate employers is uncovering any OSHA violations related to the accident.
How Does OSHA Protect Maritime Workers?
OSHA is intended to uphold and protect safe working conditions, as every employee has the right to such an environment. To this end, OSHA gives workers the following privileges:
- To ask OSHA to inspect their workplace
- To use their rights under the law without fear of retaliation or discrimination
- To receive information and training about hazards, how to prevent harm, and relevant OSHA standards
- To obtain copies of test results done to locate workplace hazards
- To review records of work-related injuries and illnesses
- To obtain copies of their medical records
As occupations in the maritime industry are some of the most dangerous in the world, it is imperative that employers and shipowners are conscientious in maintaining the safety of their vessels, offshore platforms, and jack-up rigs. If an owner or employer failed to uphold a worker’s rights as described by OSHA, an offshore injury lawyer from Arnold & Itkin LLP may be able to help you determine what step should be taken next.
What Other Protections Am I Entitled To?
Employers are responsible for mitigating unavoidable hazards and ensuring the workplace is free of avoidable dangers. They must also provide adequate training, personal protective equipment, and safety equipment for workers when necessary. Fires and explosions are a serious risk in offshore job sites; OSHA compels employers to provide fire equipment and protection for this reason. Hazardous materials are also a danger, so employers are required to store these correctly.
If an employee notices that their employer is failing in any of these standards, they should immediately notify OSHA. It could be the difference between life and death for workers. It is also important for employees to remember that they have the right to refuse an assignment or task if it would be in direct violation of these standards and regulations.
If your employer’s disregard for OSHA regulations played a role in your accident, call our maritime injury lawyers today!