The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency regulating and enforcing laws designed to protect our nation’s workers. Employers are required to submit reports when on-the-job accidents and injuries occur, and OSHA carefully monitors these reports to identify unsafe workplaces. However, this system only works when employers comply, and according to the agency, the majority of worksites didn’t submit their annual injury and illness logs for 2016.
OSHA instituted a new electronic record-keeping rule that requires certain jobsites to submit yearly reports of injuries and illnesses. These reports include information about work-related deaths, injuries or illnesses that caused a loss of consciousness, injuries that restricted work activity or required transfer to another position, and the days away from work for medical treatment beyond first aid.
Employers were required to submit their 2016 reports by December 31, 2017, but very few did so. OSHA had anticipated nearly 350,000 jobsites would submit reports, but only 153,653 actually completed their submissions before the deadline. This means nearly 200,000 jobsites failed to report their annual injury and illness logs.
OSHA has until June 15, 2018 to inspect jobsites that did not submit an electronic filing, and the agency could levy fines as high as $12,934 for failing to comply. However, because so many jobsites failed to submit annual reports, it will be impossible for the agency to inspect all non-compliant companies and issue the appropriate fines. This means many workplaces with safety violations will go unchecked.
What This Means For Workers
Although OSHA has greatly improved workplace safety for millions of Americans, the reality is many workers face dangers at work because of non-compliance. Workers have a right to a reasonably safe workplace, and if employers fail to provide this, it’s not just OSHA that will seek justice. People injured at work due to negligence can file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation. Because OSHA is unable to police all jobsites, many negligent employers are only held accountable through civil lawsuits.
Lubbock Jobsite Injury Attorneys
If you or a loved one is injured on the job, you need experienced lawyers on your side with thorough knowledge of state and federal laws and regulations governing worksites. Contact the Lubbock jobsite injury attorneys at Liggett Law Group today for a free consultation to discuss your case.