When employers in Pennsylvania fail to comply with safety standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workers are at risk of getting hurt.
That’s why the agency has conducted more than 32,000 inspections annually during 2017 and 2018 – a significant increase from 2016. In 2018 alone, inspections uncovered and corrected approximately 135,021 workplace hazards.
OSHA inspections to increase
Since many employers’ failure to comply generally goes under the radar, OSHA may increase inspections with 76 new inspectors, according to U.S. Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta.
In addition, President Donald Trump plans to request $557 in his Fiscal Year 2020 budget to help OSHA hire 30 more compliance officers, five more whistleblower investigators, and other staff.
The increase in workplace inspections may not happen promptly, though. Training new inspectors will likely take up to three years, depending on how much experience they already possess and the complexity of the inspections they will conduct.
Not all industries or workplaces are likely to be inspected, either. Due to its limited personnel and resources, OSHA will only have the bandwidth to cover construction worksites, manufacturing plants, and other industries that have high death and injury rates.
Inspectors are responsible for flagging potential workplace hazards, investigating complaints made by workers, and documenting violations. Companies found to be in violation of OSHA standards could be penalized with citations and fines. If safety hazards aren’t addressed, companies can find themselves on OSHA’s Severe Violator Program.
Small businesses who may not be fully aware of OSHA standards may be offered free on-site consultations – which includes education on common workplace hazards and other tools to enhance and improve a company’s existing safety program.
Injured on the job due to an unaddressed hazard? Know your legal rights!
Unfortunately, not every workplace will be inspected for potential hazards. In addition, some employers may be reluctant to comply with safety standards, even after being penalized. If you were injured on the job due to a workplace hazard that was unaddressed or even ignored, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
The attorneys at O’Malley & Langan fight for the rights of injured workers in Scranton and throughout Pennsylvania. We know that filing a workers’ compensation claim and pursuing benefits can be a complex process for many workers. We want to help guide you through the process and ensure that you are treated fairly.
Get started on your claim today. Contact our law office online to set up your free case evaluation.