Safety Violations for Road Construction Workers
Road construction workers face numerous hazards. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our trustworthy Chicago workers’ compensation lawyers handle claims of injury arising out of:
- Ineffective traffic controls
- Low visibility
- Closeness to live electrical currents
- Frustrated or reckless drivers
- Failure to wear personal protection
- Falls/scaffolding issues on multi-layer freeways
- Toxic exposures
- Lockout/tagout procedure failures
- Use of heavy mechanical equipment.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency put in place to enforce safety rules in workplaces. They also handle employee safety complaints ranging from minor to severe.Call Chicago Road Construction Lawyers About Safety Violations
While OSHA handles numerous safety violations, it is important to be aware that you may have a claim for workers’ compensation benefits regardless of whether OSHA found a safety violation.
Workers’ compensation benefits are no-fault benefits. This means our Chicago attorneys do not need to establish fault in order to secure benefits on your behalf. Rather, we’ll need to show that your injuries were work-related. When there is a pre-existing condition, we’ll need to show that doing your job exacerbated or aggravated your pre-existing condition. For example, if drilling caused you to experience vibrations that re-injured your already weakened shoulder, you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits even if there was no safety violation.
However, when OSHA does find a violation, this may bolster your claim that you sustained a work-related injury in the event that your claim is denied. There are different degrees of violations. De minimis violations are technical violations of OSHA’s many rules; they typically don’t directly affect worker health and safety. When the chances of an injury occurring as a result of a rule violation are low, it is considered a de minimis violation for which an OSHA inspector will provide a verbal warning.
Next most serious is the other-than-serious OSHA violation, which might not result in a serious injury or death but could still perhaps endanger a worker’s health or safety. There is a minimum penalty for these violations. When such a violation does cause injuries, it can substantiate the claim that a minor injury is work-related and not the result of some other mishap.
A road construction company could face more significant fines for a repeated violation. OSHA’s citation will specify a date by which the problem needs to be corrected and may also issue a failure to abate a prior violation. As with the other-than-serious violations, this type of violation can substantiate our lawyers’ arguments that your injuries are work-related.
Serious violations are those that are issued when the road construction company knows that workplace dangers could cause illness or injuries and yet doesn’t do anything to amend the situation. In addition to being on the hook for workers’ compensation benefits, your employer may be fined a significant sum for a serious violation. The amount your employer could owe would depend on previous history, the employer’s good faith, and how serious the violation was.Willful Safety Violations
Willful violations are a different beast. These occur when a road contractor intentionally disregards regulations or acts with extreme indifference to your safety. The maximum fines can be hundreds of thousands of dollars when the violation is also criminal or where an employee is killed because of the company’s negligence. When multiple companies are involved in road construction, and it’s not your employer’s willful violation that caused your injuries, it may be appropriate to bring a third party lawsuit against the at-fault party. The willful safety violation can be useful in pursuing that lawsuit.Consult a Seasoned Road Construction Lawyer
Call our trustworthy Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys if you were injured on the job as a road construction worker. We have more than 60 years of experience representing workers in Rockford, Aurora, Champaign, and Quincy, along with Winnebago, Kane, Sangamon, Cook, and Adams Counties. We can also represent you in a third party lawsuit or your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claim, as necessary. Call us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or complete our online form.