The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), created under Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 in the U.S., ensures the safety and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. OSHA covers private sector workers, state and local government workers and federal government workers through the federal OSHA or an OSHA-approved state plan.
Workers have rights under OSHA which include a safe workplace free of known safety and health hazards besides other rights that include
- Training in a language known to workers
- Installing machines that are safe to run
- Providing safety gear required for performing duties
- Reporting an injury under copy to workers injured
- Allowing scrutiny of safety records maintained
Thus, workers are protected under OSHA and they as well as the employers are required to report any workplace related accident to OSHA.
If you are a worker injured in an accident at the workplace then you have to do the following:
- You have to immediately call your supervisor and report the accident. The supervisor is bound to follow SOPs of your organization to take further action which could include treating your injury and/or call 911 for assistance. If the supervisor is not available, you too can call 911 or if you are seriously injured and unable to call you can get your colleague to do the necessary call. You also have the right to be treated by a doctor of your choice.
- You or your colleague can record the circumstances of the accident and note down the details of the accident such as where it occurred, what equipment was involved, what type of accident occurred, what caused the accident, which of the employees were involved, what injuries were suffered by employees including you and any damage caused to equipment. If you have a mobile phone with camera/video features it is advisable to use the same to capture the accident.
- You have to ensure that the employers report the accident without fail. OSHA requires that a fatal injury be reported to OSHA within 8 hours. In the case of non-fatal injuries – in-patient hospitalization, amputation, or eye loss – OSHA requires the reporting to be done within 24 hours of the accident.
Ensure that you secure a copy of the report submitted to OSHA by your employer. You have the right to receive a copy.
- Once you have your own recording of events and the one submitted by your employer to OSHA, you can then contact your industrial accident lawyers in Shreveport to apprise them of your situation. You can also liaise with a labor liaison of OSHA to seek help from it on the way to proceed.
- Ensure that you don’t attribute blame to yourself for the accident. You can simply state that an accident has taken place and you are injured and you need medical help and/or hospitalization.
You must ensure you contact your lawyer who would be in a position to advise you on the proper course of action. This is necessary because you should not neglect to report to concerned authorities lest you miss the deadline to file a suit if you are not happy with the compensation provided by your employer. Your attorneys have the experience of industry regulations and standards and dealing with other injury cases and they can assess your injury and help you to secure more compensation as well as help you to prevent medical complications as a result of your injuries.