Philadelphia Attorney for Injuries Caused by an OSHA 29 U.S.C. Section 654, 5(a)1 Violation
Injuries on the job are a common occurrence. Many employees are required to engage in a task that involves a substantial level of risk. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) provides standards and regulations for employers to minimize the dangers employees face in their work environment. While OSHA’s rules address many specific hazards, many potential dangers have been overlooked or OSHA has yet to develop standards related to them.
OSHA 29 U.S.C. Section 654, 5(a)1 is a catch-all provision for those hazards that have not been specifically addressed. Known as the “general duty clause,” this regulation requires that employers maintain a workplace that is free from recognized hazards. If you were injured because your employer failed to comply with the “general duty clause,” contact our Philadelphia attorney for injuries caused by an OSHA 29 U.S.C. Section 654, 5(a)1 violation immediately. Call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 246-9000 for a free and confidential consultation today.
How OSHA 29 U.S.C. Section 654, 5(a)1 is Applied to Philadelphia Employers
Workers throughout the tri-state state area are entitled to a work environment that is free from unreasonable dangers and risks. To help accomplish that goal, nearly every employer in Philadelphia must adhere to the safety regulations published by OSHA. However, despite the numerous rules and regulations OSHA has developed, not every condition is covered. Under the “general duty clause,” hazards that were not explicitly addressed could still constitute safety violations.
Common Violations of the “General Duty Clause” in Philadelphia Work Environments
OSHA 29 U.S.C. Section 654, 5(a)1 requires Philadelphia employers to take all necessary, feasible action to keep the work environment free from any hazards that are causing or are likely to cause severe physical harm or death.
While OSHA’s published standards include a broad scope of potential dangers that require mitigation, they do not address every possible hazard. For example, there are no developed standards regarding violence in the workplace. The “general duty clause” governs an employer’s obligation to their employees in those situations not covered by other published standards.
Some other common OSHA 29 U.S.C. Section 654, 5(a)1 violations that have resulted in the unreasonable physical harm or death of Philadelphia workers include the following.
- Employment that requires regular and repeated moving of heavy objects
- Employers that fail to provide their employees access to immediate medical care if necessary
- Jobs that expose employees to certain dangerous chemicals
- Heavy machinery that lacks an automatic shut-off safety system
- Forklifts, or other similar equipment, that is not adequately maintained or improperly operated
- Employment that entails long periods of sitting or standing with adequate support
The Conditions Required for “General Duty Clause” Violation by a Philadelphia Employer
For a violation of OSHA 29 U.S.C. Section 654, 5(a)1 to have occurred, four conditions must exist. Our skilled Philadelphia attorneys will thoroughly examine all of the evidence surrounding your injury to determine if the circumstances and your employer’s conduct met all four conditions.
- An actual hazard must exist
- It is a recognizable hazard
- The hazard is likely to cause death or serious physical harm
- The employer must be able to mitigate the hazard
Proving an OSHA 29 U.S.C. Section 654, 5(a) in Philadelphia
The first thing our Philadelphia personal Injury lawyer will have to establish is that a hazard existed. If your occupation required sitting for an extended period, you would require a chair that provides adequate support along with necessary breaks to avoid injuries to your spine or shoulders or any other medical issues connected with remaining stationary for a long time. If there is a lack of proper chairs available, it could constitute a hazard.
Next, a violation requires that the hazard was recognized. Your employer’s knowledge of any potentially dangerous situations could arise from first-hand experience or applicable standards that exist in the industry. Proving that a hazard was recognized could be accomplished in several ways.
Turning to the example above, an employer could have a file of complaints by employees regarding an insufficient number of proper chairs. Additionally, there are numerous studies available regarding the health risks employees face due to extended sitting without proper support.
The recognized hazard must also likely cause physical harm or death. Fortunately for people injured in the workplace, this condition is typically broadly applied. We will have to demonstrate that the circumstances created by your employer’s actions presented an unreasonable risk of injury. While death is an unlikely occurrence from a poorly designed chair, back injuries are not only a probable consequence but they could also lead to long-term and painful adverse medical effects.
The final condition required to show a violation is proving that there were reasonable steps your employer could have taken to minimize or remove the hazard. Similarly to establishing that it was a recognized hazard, showing that it was feasible to mitigate the risk is also dependent on the facts of your case. In the example above, providing employees chairs with proper support and adequate breaks during the workday are reasonable actions that are feasible. Unfortunately, every workplace injury case will not be as cut and dry as the example here. If you are hurt in the workplace, you will need the representation of our experienced Philadelphia injury attorney working on your behalf.
Call Our Philadelphia Attorney for Injuries Caused by an OSHA 29 U.S.C. Section 654, 5(a)1 Violation for a Free Consultation
Workers in Philadelphia and the surrounding area suffer job-related injuries daily. If you believe your injury was the direct result of your employer’s failure to adhere to OSHA regulations or guidelines, contact our experienced Philadelphia attorney for injuries caused by an OSHA 29 U.S.C. Section 654, 5(a)1 violations immediately. Our attorneys have been representing injured workers for over three decades. Call the Reiff Law Firm at (215) 246-9000 for a free and confidential consultation today.