Even when all safety precautions are taken accidents happen, and when they do, the blame game begins.
Various factors account for accidents in the workplace. From the condition and environment of the workplace and what led to the accident to how it happened and whether or not it could have been prevented, these factors must be identified and analyzed. When an accident occurs on the job, a lot of finger-pointing also takes place.
The bulk of the responsibility falls on the employer, as it is up to them to ensure a healthy and safe workplace. If they fail to do so, they can be found legally responsible and be the target of lawsuits, which may cost them their business, not to mention the guilt they have to live with knowing that they might have been able to prevent the accident from happening in the first place.
Proving accountability may allow the injured party to seek financial compensation. More importantly, it can pave the way for new internal policies that can help prevent future accidents. In this brief article, we will cover some basic aspects of identifying the at-fault party in a workplace accident.
Workplace Safety Regulations
As established, employers are bound by law to provide a safe environment for their workers. A company must enforce a certain standard of safety that is approved by the industrial sector in question. Working in some industries is more dangerous than others; construction is an example of one of the most hazardous industries.
It is up to the employer to enforce, within reason, what they can to make the workplace less risky for personnel, staff, visitors, and more. That said, if an employee agrees to work somewhere that does not provide a healthy and safe environment, this can change the story around in case a lawsuit is filed against the employer.
A substantial number of injuries happen because a worker was not trained well to do their job, or worse, not trained at all. This is exemplified by when someone injures themselves using a piece of machinery or sharp equipment. Invariably, a worker must understand the equipment they are operating, or an accident is bound to happen.
In many cases, an injury might directly correlate to the training, meaning the less you’ve been trained, the more seriously injured you might get. Whether it’s a minor or a serious one, you have the right to seek compensation and pursue legal action. As the specialized Orlando attorneys detail in their post on Personal Injury, filing a lawsuit with the help of a competent and experienced attorney will increase your chances of receiving the full compensation you deserve. After sustaining an injury, it’s likely that you will be out of work for some time and need medical treatment. Who is going to cover the costs of medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more? Legally speaking, employers who have not fulfilled their obligations to protect their employees can be held accountable, and in that case, they will have to pay financial damages. In fact, when any factors point to the employer being at fault, a personal injury lawyer can help you assert your rights.
Likewise, an employer who forces employees or workers to operate with machines that do not comply with basic safety requirements can also be held liable. Regular inspection of equipment must be done to ensure they are in good working condition for safety purposes. Workers, supervisors, and managers also share in the responsibility to alert the necessary departments if they notice a machine needing spare parts, or being replaced altogether.
If the machinery came faulty initially, this is a different situation. In this case, the employer might want to take legal action against the equipment manufacturer.
Another legal issue pertains to employers who do not provide the correct information on what a certain job entails. As an employee, you have a legal right to be aware of the dangers and risks you might face while working. Not only that, but your employer should inform you of the protocols regarding what will happen should a staff member be injured on the job. Attempting to hide this information from an employee can be a very costly mistake.
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Not every accident is the employer’s fault. For instance, an employer cannot take the blame if a worker is injured due to alcohol or substance abuse. Any contract will stipulate that employers are not allowed to consume any sort of mind-altering substance while on the job and that those who break that clause will be at-fault. Employees must also work in a safe way that won’t cause harm to themselves or their colleagues.
Accidents happen in a matter of seconds, but employers have a lot more than a few seconds to prepare and prevent these accidents. Yet, even when all safety precautions are taken to protect workers from potential accidents, they are still likely to happen. When they do, the blame game begins. Ultimately, when both the employer and employee know their rights and obligations, they can help each other to work in a safe and healthy environment.