Palm Beach Gardens Workers Compensation Lawyer
Working in an Unsafe Environment
An experienced workers compensation lawyer knows that there are certain types of hazard violations that frequently show up as the cause of work accidents. At the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt, we have spent years fighting for injured workers and getting them the compensation they deserve. When one of our clients has been injured because their Palm Beach Gardens employer failed to provide a safe environment, we work diligently to fight for the benefits each client is entitled to within the law.
Keeping Workers Safe
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency that oversees worker safety in Palm Beach Gardens. The OSHA has rules and regulations for all different types of industries that employers are required to follow. If a company breaks these regulations, they can be fined by OSHA. When a worker is injured or killed because a company failed to follow the law, the fines and penalties can be harsh.
Some of the common violations that cause worker injuries include:
1. Fall protection: Construction sites are some of the most dangerous job sites in the country. OSHA requires that employers provide a floor surface that is strong enough to support workers and have protection at the edges and sides of any surfaces, openings, roofs, holes, excavations, or any equipment that is at least six feet above the site’s lowest level. All workers must also be provided with proper training on how to recognize and avoid potential fall hazards and the correct use of protection equipment.
2. Hazard communication: Companies must provide labeling, data sheets, and training on the dangers, proper use, and handling of all toxic substances and hazardous chemicals.
3. Respiratory protection: Companies must provide respirators when necessary, as well as have a written respiratory protection program in place that provides work-specific procedures for the equipment and its intended use.
4. Scaffolding: All scaffolds are required to support at least four times the maximum intended load. They must also have guardrails and other fall protection systems in place.
5. Ladders: All ladders must be able to support a minimum of four times their intended load.
6. Lockout/Tagout: There must be specific procedures in place to protect employees when they are conducting maintenance on a piece of equipment.
7. Industrial trucks: All workers must be property trained in the use of all motorized equipment, such as hand trucks and forklifts.
8. Machine guarding: All equipment must have the correct guards to protect workers from sparks, chips, and rotating parts.
9. Electrical hazards: All workers must be properly trained in recognizing and avoiding electrical hazards.
Let a Workers Compensation Lawyer in Palm Beach Gardens Advocate for You
Unfortunately, there are far too many companies who do not adhere to the rules and regulations that OSHA has in place. Instead, they put profits over safety — and thousands of workers pay the price each year, suffering serious injury or death because of safety hazards.
Can I Get Fired For Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Getting injured at work can be an upsetting and scary thing, but it is important for you to know that you do have rights. One of the most important is that it is illegal for a company to fire you for getting injured or for filing a workers’ compensation claim –in almost every state.
That said, there are many things you need to know and a lawyer who specializes in dealing with workers’ compensation in the state where you live is best equipped to guide you through the process. They will know laws specific to where you live and the laws do vary from state to state.
While many companies will review the claim and then comply, there are some out there who won’t want to pay your claim and will try to find a way around it. You will need to protect yourself and here are a few things you should know and look out for after you have filed.
One of the most important to keep in mind is that filing a claim doesn’t guarantee that you can’t be fired for another reason. If your company has fallen on hard financial times and is eliminating a department, you can still be let go – or for any other reason that has nothing to do with your having filed a claim.
But how can you tell if that other reason is legitimate? There are a few things to look out for:
- Has management been making negative comments about your filing?
- How close was it to when you filed the claim?
- What was the reason given for your firing? If it doesn’t make any sense, it might be because of your claim
If you were fired because of your claim, you do have recourse. Most are worked through the workers’ comp system, but in some states you may be eligible for even more compensation in addition to lost wages and getting your job back. In some states, you may even be able to file a lawsuit.
Here are some things you will need to prove that you were indeed fired in retaliation for filing a claim:
- You filed a claim, which is protected
- You suffered because of an action by your employer, such as termination or another change (like a demotion or a decrease in pay)
- That the employer retaliated because of your having filed the claim
- You were eligible to receive those benefits according to workers compensation law
Should you be fired soon after filing your claim and you believe you were wrongly terminated, you should probably consider filing a retaliation claim as soon as you can because some states have a very quick time limit with which you can file.
If you are worried you may be discriminated against or already have been because of a claim, you should consult with a highly regarded workers’ compensation or employment lawyer nearby. Remember, they have the knowledge you need to know about how laws regarding this work specifically within the state you live.
If you have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your medical expenses and loss of income. Contact a Palm Beach Gardens workers compensation lawyer from the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt today to set up a free case evaluation and find out how we may help.