South Carolina employees who have experienced working in dangerous work environments or with employers who violate workplace safety provisions may be interested to learn that the U.S. Department of Labor has pledged to promote high-quality work environments. According to an attorney there, the goal is to keep workplaces safe through litigation and dispute resolution activities.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were about 4,800 work-related fatalities that occurred in 2015. Further, in that year, there were approximately 3 million injuries and illnesses. While these injuries and illnesses can cause workers to be permanently disabled or leave them unable to work, even minor injuries can have an effect on businesses. For example, in the same year, injured workers missed an aggregate of more than 900,000 days away from work, with an averaged of about eight missed days per injured worker..
In order to prevent workplace accidents, the DOL is intent on targeting employers who repeatedly violate the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Some willful violations have resulted in certain employers receiving fines up to $500,000. It is also dedicated to protecting whistleblowers, as the agency receives approximately 3,000 complaints every single year.
Workers who are injured after their employer commits an OSHA violation may be entitled to seek workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can include reimbursement of medical expenses as well as partial wage replacement during the recovery period. An attorney can often be of assistance in ensuring that the required claim is complete and is filed on a timely basis.