Hundreds of Charleston residents rely on the paper industry to provide income and stability for their families. People working at papermills may be employed in a variety of roles, ranging from machine operators to maintenance workers.
However, since these factories use heavy machinery, complex tools, and caustic chemicals, papermills are often an extremely dangerous place to work. Every year, papermill employees are injured while performing their required job duties.
Though Charleston papermill workplace safety laws are in place to help protect employees, employers often violate these rules. However, all South Carolina employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment, and failing to provide this could lead to liability for any harm sustained. Papermill workers facing serious injuries may wish to have an experienced work accident lawyer review their case and determine if an unsafe workplace contributed to an accident.
Providing a Safe Workplace in Charleston
Everyone at a papermill should have an interest in ensuring that a workplace is as safe as possible. Safe workplaces allow Charleston papermill employees to earn their living free from worry about catastrophic injuries and limit the number of workers’ compensation claims an employer could face.
While most injuries sustained during work cannot lead to a personal injury lawsuit, an employer who fails to provide a safe workplace may face legal repercussions in addition to paying the cost of compensation claims. The South Carolina Code of Laws §41-15-80 requires employers to provide a reasonably safe workplace that is free from known hazards.
To help meet this standard, papermill employees should receive training for their specific job duties and employers should provide adequate safety equipment. South Carolina’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) may investigate any alleged safety violations and enforce stiff fines against employers who do not properly comply with the law.
Options Following A Workplace Injury
Thanks to South Carolina workers’ compensation laws, papermill employers are required to obtain insurance policies that provide medical treatment and disability income to people injured on the job. In exchange, injured workers cannot sue their employers for their personal injuries.
However, filing for benefits can be notoriously complex. In addition to the complicated filing process itself, insurance companies may attempt to avoid paying claims by shifting liability for the injuries onto the worker who suffered them.
For instance, an insurance provider may claim that a worker’s job duties did not directly lead to their injury, that their injury is not sufficient to demand payment, or that their injury predated their employment at the papermill. In most cases, a workers’ compensation lawyer could help injured Charleston papermill workers collect any required evidence of their injury and file a claim to pursue compensation if they are denied benefits following a workplace safety accident.
Allow a Charleston Papermill Workplace Safety Advocate to Help
Papermills provide gainful employment to many people in Charleston and throughout South Carolina. However, the use of heavy machinery, moving vehicles, and harsh chemicals may be hazardous to a worker’s wellbeing.
Providing a safe workplace in papermills is more than just a moral responsibility—it is required under South Carolina law. Any injury that occurs because of a violation of Charleston papermill workplace safety practices could be the subject of a potential legal claim. Successful claims may necessitate payment for medical treatment, as well as disability compensation for time missed at work.
After an injury, a workplace safety advocate could help evaluate papermill workplace safety standards, identify potential violations, and help pursue a claim for injured worker benefits. Allow dedicated legal counsel to review your case during an initial consultation and help you decide how to proceed following an injury.