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All employees deserve the right to a safe workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets strict safety guidelines to protect all workers from serious injuries, but unfortunately accidents still happen. When an employee is injured on the job, employers are responsible for reporting the accident to OSHA; and, failure to report workplace accidents is a serious offense.
OSHA tracks the number and type of accidents from individual companies to identify repeat offenders. OSHA can inspect these facilities more often and can encourage these employers to make their workplaces safer by levying fines when regulations are ignored. OSHA also requires accidents to be reported because the agency makes the information available to the public. This allows employees and/or potential employees to learn about a company’s safety record.
OSHA requires all accidents leading to hospitalization to be reported to the agency. This includes emergency clinics and hospital visits. Any hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye must be reported within 24 hours of the accident. Employers must supply OSHA with the details of the accident and contact information for the parties involved.
Any fatality that occurs in the workplace must be reported to OSHA within eight hours of the incident. Representatives from OSHA are available any time through a national hotline, local OSHA offices, and through online communication. It is important to note the injury or death of a temporary worker or contractor must be reported to OSHA as well.
Failure to report accidents will lead to hefty fines. New regulations increased the fine amount for not reporting accidents by 400%. A company could pay as much as $7,000 for failing to report an accident.
When employers fail to report an event to OSHA, workers can submit anonymous tips to the agency. OSHA protects all workers who report accidents or provide tips from retaliation by employers.
Workers injured because of an employer’s negligence do not only have OSHA enforcement to rely on. Injured workers can seek compensation through filing a workplace accident lawsuit. The experienced Houston workplace accident attorneys at Adame Garza LLP can help you navigate the legal process and aggressively represent you against your employer. Call us today for a free consultation.