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What Is the Purpose of OSHA? Protecting Workers in Lancaster, PA

As an employee, you have likely seen OSHA posters around your workplace, or perhaps you’ve heard coworkers or employee handbooks talk about OSHA regulations, but do you really know what OSHA is, what it does, or what its purpose is?  OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which has been federal law since it was passed into law on 1970 under the administration of President Richard M. Nixon. The law’s purpose is to make sure that employers provide their employees with a work environment that is safe. It does this by providing specific guidelines and regulations for what compliance means.

In the state of Pennsylvania, job sites are required to follow federal OSHA regulations because the state does not have its own workplace safety and health standards. The OSHA regulations protect employees at every level, from owners and officers to hourly workers. It also protects the family members of owners. If you are an employee, OSHA’s protections mean that your employer is required to keep your jobsite free of hazards, as well as to keep you safe in locations where you are required to go for your job as well.  Despite the intentions of the law, violations of OSHA laws occur frequently. If you have suffered a workplace injury involving an OSHA regulation, the attorneys at Vanasse Law can help. Contact us today to see how the existing of an OSHA violation can provide you with leverage as you seek compensation for your injuries.

Despite the fact that OSHA standards are well publicized and have been in place for years, violations and failures to maintain appropriate levels of protection occur frequently. Certain violations are more commonly seen than others, and failure to adhere to these standards can lead to serious injuries of employees in the workplace. The ten OSHA standards that employers most frequently fail to meet are:

  • Fall protection
  • Hazard communication
  • Scaffolding
  • Respiratory protection
  • Powered industrial trucks
  • Lockout/Tagout
  • Ladders
  • Electrical wiring
  • Machine guarding
  • Electrical systems design

Failure to make sure that these standards are maintained invite preventable injuries and illnesses. Though Workers’ Compensation benefits are not dependent upon negligence, exceptions are sometimes made when an OSHA violation was present, allowing an injured worker to file for additional damages under a third party claim. When it can be proven that an employer was aware of an OSHA violation and willfully chose not to address it, then those injured as a result of the violation may be able to sue for pain and suffering, and even for punitive damages.

Employers are able to mount aggressive defenses of their lack of action to address OSHA compliance issues, so it is important that if you are filing a claim in conjunction with an OSHA violation, you have an attorney that has extensive familiarity with OSHA and Workers’ Compensation laws in Lancaster. The law firm of Vanasse Law is dedicated exclusive to helping those who are injured or made ill in workplace accidents. Call us today for more information on how we can help.

Learn more about OSHA HERE.