When an employee is injured at work, there will be an investigation to determine who is at fault. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, or OSHA, set forth certain guidelines to ensure that employers provide a safe working environment. If it is determined that these standards were not met, an employer may have to pay for the medical bills and missed time that occurred due to the injury.
What OSHA Says About Liability
OSHA dictates that employers are responsible for an employee's safety and well-being while at the workplace or any time the employee is on company time. This includes travel and training time that may be done at a location other than the workplace. Employers must eliminate all hazards that could cause physical injury or death to an employee. Failure to follow OSHA's rules can lead to citations and penalties.
What OSHA Does Not Cover
There are times when an employer is not responsible for an injury that occurred at the workplace. This is when the employee has contributed to the accident, such as being intoxicated while working. The employee could also be found at fault if they did not use proper safeguards that were in place to prevent injury. However, the employer may still have to pay worker's compensation if the injury happened during the course of a normal workday.
How You Can Protect Yourself
Injuries at the workplace can never be 100 percent prevented. However, you can take steps to protect yourself from being sued. A business law attorney can help you understand the different conditions of OSHA and worker's compensation. Purchasing liability insurance is also a good idea for a business owner to protect themselves if a lawsuit is ever filed.