The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2016 alone there were 32,000 nonfatal private industry workplace illnesses and injuries. This represents an incidence rate of 2.5 cases for every 100 full-time equivalent workers.
Approximately one-third of these cases required days away from work and over a quarter required a job transfer or restriction. About half of these cases were in the trade, transportation, utilities, and manufacturing industries.
Workplace safety should be a top priority for all employers, no matter the industry. For some employers, however, safety takes a back seat to financial gains, increased production, pleasing customers, or even simple convenience. When this happens, serious injury and even death often occur.
In addition to being physically harmed by an occupational injury, you may also suffer financially and maybe even emotionally. Fortunately, a dedicated attorney could be your workplace safety advocate in such a situation. If you are a victim of an occupational injury or illness, you may benefit from consulting with an experienced Greenville workplace safety lawyer.
What is the Occupational Safety and Health Act?
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, also called OSHA for short, sets standards for employers to provide employees a safe working environment. Some states also have their own laws about occupational safety, including South Carolina. These are known as plan states.
When OSHA was originally passed, each individual state had the opportunity to submit their own OSHA occupational safety laws for federal approval. If the United States Secretary of Labor found their plan acceptable, then the state law stood, and federal OSHA law did not apply in that state. In states where plans were not accepted, federal OSHA laws still apply.
What is Employer Responsibility?
When it comes to protecting their employees, employers in Greenville have several duties. While safety at work is everyone’s job, one of an employer’s specific duties is to provide employees with a safe work environment. This expectation applies no matter what type of industry an employee is in.
The state of South Carolina takes occupational safety very seriously, as does a Greenville workplace safety lawyer. When an employer willfully or repeatedly causes an illness or an injury to employees, employers can face up to $70,000 in penalty fines for each incidence under South Carolina Code §41-15-320(a).
If an employer receives notice of a serious occupational safety violation, they may be given a civil penalty of $7,000. Furthermore, each day that the violation is not corrected may come with a fine of an additional $7,000.
Consult with a Greenville Workplace Safety Attorney Today
It is up to employees such as yourself to hold employers accountable for keeping workplaces safe. If you were injured in a workplace accident or believe your employer is not providing a safe workplace for you and your coworkers, a seasoned Greenville workplace safety lawyer may be able to help.
With the help of an experienced attorney, you may be able to receive compensation for your occupational workplace injury or illnesses. Contact a workplace safety advocate from our firm today to find out if you have an occupational safety case and what your rights are under South Carolina state law.