The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) believes all workers have the right to a safe workplace. To enforce this belief, OSHA has set strict safety guidelines all employers must abide by. Unfortunately, not all employers comply with OSHA regulations and several organizations are now suing OSHA over one of its new rules for workplace accident reporting.
OSHA Accident Reporting Requirements
When common construction accidents do occur, there are strict requirements and timelines for reporting them to OSHA. OSHA then determines whether or not it needs to investigate the accident. OSHA can fine companies that fail to report accidents up to $7,000 per accident.
OSHA has instituted a new accident reporting rule to further protect employees’ right to a safe workplace. This rule now makes all accidents reported to OSHA available to the public. This helps keep companies accountable for their accidents and also gives employees more information on their company’s shortcomings in complying with federal safety regulations.
Organizations File Lawsuit Against OSHA
Several groups, including the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others, are contesting the new public reporting rule in a lawsuit filed against OSHA. The NAHB and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce believe the new rule violates the Fifth Amendment – the right to not incriminate oneself. The organizations also believe the reporting will have no effect on improving workplace conditions and reducing workplace accidents, and will harm the reputations of the companies forced to participate.
Many individuals and organizations fully support the new rule, including the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). The AFL-CIO serves as the umbrella federation for unions and works to protect workers’ rights.
Benefits of Public Reporting
Despite OSHA’s best efforts, the reality is the agency does not have the time and manpower to police all companies for safety compliance. By publishing accident reporting data, companies will be held accountable to more than just OSHA, but also to the public.
Lubbock Workplace Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been left seriously injured from a Texas workplace accident, the Lubbock workplace accident attorneys at Liggett Law Group can give you the representation you deserve. Call us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.