No matter what a job entails, an employee is entitled to work in a safe environment. Federal laws state that employers must keep their workplace “free from recognizable hazards” that could cause injuries or even death. States have also adopted their own workplace health and safety codes that outline processes and guidelines for keeping employees safe at work.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency under the Department of Labor that governs safe working conditions for employees. OSHA regulations apply mostly to the private sector, though some public employers are required to adhere to them.
OSHA encourages states to develop their own workplace safety requirements and have them approved by the agency. Currently, 22 states and U.S. territories have taken the suggestion and now use their own OSHA-approved regulations, but the rest of the states and territories defer to the federal regulations.
While Texas defers to OSHA’s federal regulations, the state does have its own Health and Safety Code to provide a more in-depth instruction on creating and maintaining a workplace free from harm.
Remedies for Workplace Injuries
When you are injured on the job, there are generally two different ways to receive compensation for items like medical bills or lost earning capacity from time off work. If your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you will file a workers’ compensation claim. This insurance is provided specifically for employees who get injured on the job to reimburse medical bills and provide funds when you’re unable to work. Employers who provide workers’ compensation will require their employees to sign documentation stating they will not sue the employer in the event of an injury.
Texas, like some other states, does not require employers to provide workers’ compensation, so you may want to ask about it when applying for jobs. While employers in Texas must adhere to both the state’s workplace safety regulations and OSHA laws, they have no mandatory program that takes care of injured employees. If you’re injured and you don’t have access to workers’ compensation, you may want to consider filing a personal injury claim against your employer.
In order to prove your employer was at fault for your injury, you must be able to show negligence on their part. Companies that do not adhere properly to mandatory state and federal procedures not only put their employees’ lives in danger, they also open themselves up to citations and fines for violating important regulatory laws. Obtaining proof of these violations from OSHA will be an important part of showing fault for your injuries.
You can file a complaint with OSHA to have your workplace inspected. Filing can be done confidentially, but be aware it is against the law for your employer to retaliate against you for requesting an OSHA inspection or voicing your concerns over unsafe working conditions.
How a Houston Workplace Accident Lawyer Can Help You
If you’ve been injured at your job because your employer is not following proper workplace health and safety codes, you are entitled to pursue damages to help your recovery. The workplace accident lawyers at The Krist Law Firm, P.C. understands how arduous it can feel trying to prove that your employer’s lack of safe practices caused your injury, especially when you’re focused on recovery at the same time.
We have over four decades of experience fighting for employees who have been injured at work, and we will do everything in our power to ensure you don’t have to suffer because of the negligence of others. Call us at (281) 283-8500 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.