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Workplace Injuries Due to Safety Violations: What are Your Rights?

Each year, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cites thousands of employers for workplace safety violations. State authorities (including the Illinois Department of Labor) take action against employers across the country who put their workers at risk as well. Unfortunately, these safety violations often result in serious injuries and occupational illnesses, and many workers are never able to fully-recover from the effects of their injuries and diseases. If you have been injured in the workplace, contact a skilled Chicago work injury lawyer right away to discuss your legal options.

What are your rights if you suffer harm due to a workplace safety violation? In short, it depends. If your employer was at fault, your remedies may be limited to claiming workers’ compensation benefits. Under Illinois’s workers’ compensation system, employees typically cannot sue their employers for job-related injuries and illnesses. However, there are exceptions to this general rule; and, if a third-party is to blame for your medical condition (or if you are not eligible for workers’ compensation), you may be able to seek full compensation for your injury or illness resulting from a workplace safety violation.

10 Most Common “Serious” Workplace Safety Violations

According to OSHA’s data, companies commit tens of thousands of “serious” safety violations each year. This includes thousands of repeat violations. OSHA defines a serious violation as, “one in which there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result, and the employer knew or should have known of the hazard.”

The 10 most common serious workplace safety violations are:

  • Inadequate fall protection
  • Inadequate hazard communications
  • Scaffolding safety deficiencies
  • Improper lockout-tagout procedures
  • Failure to supply respiratory protection
  • Unsafe ladders
  • Unsafe or missing machine guarding
  • Improper safety for powered industrial trucks (including forklifts)
  • Faulty electrical components and wiring methods
  • Failure to provide fall protection training

10 Most Common “Willful” Workplace Safety Violations

OSHA also tracks companies “willful” workplace safety violations. A willful violation is one which is, “committed with an intentional disregard of or plain indifference to the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and requirements.” The 10 most common willful workplace safety violations are:

  • Inadequate fall protection
  • Improper lockout-tagout procedures
  • Lead exposure
  • Inadequate excavation safety practices
  • Inadequate mechanical power press safety
  • Scaffolding safety deficiencies
  • Unsafe or missing machine guarding
  • Failure to meet specific excavation requirements
  • Violation of contractors’ general duties
  • Grain handling, welding, cutting and heating violations

While employers and contractors should make workplace safety a top priority, OSHA’s data show that this clearly isn’t the case. If a workplace safety violation is to blame for your injury or illness, you deserve to be fairly compensated, and you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With a Chicago Work Injury Lawyer at Jackowiak Law Offices Today

At Jackowiak Law Offices, we are committed to helping injured and sick workers collect just compensation. We can help you understand your rights; and, if you have a case, we will take aggressive action to win the compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation with a Chicago work injury lawyer, please call (312) 795-9595 or contact us online today.