In fiscal year 2016, the South Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Administration completed 726 inspections and investigations in both the public and private sectors. Of these, 644 were safety-related inspections and 82 were health-related inspections.
The result of their OSHA inspections were 688 serious violations, 184 non-serious violations, one repeat violation, and five willful violations. Adjusted penalties for these violations totaled $538,493.75.
Not only are all employers required to adhere to and, when necessary, face the consequences of South Carolina OSHA laws, they can also be held accountable by employees like you. If you believe you suffered a workplace injury due to your employer failing to keep a safe work environment, or if you have serious safety concerns, contact a knowledgeable attorney. A Spartanburg workplace safety lawyer could be your workplace safety advocate and help you seek justice.
Federal vs. State OSHA Laws
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) establishes federal laws regarding occupational safety. However, some states—including South Carolina—have their own OSHA laws. These states are called plan states and have OSHA laws approved by the Secretary of Health. In these states, the federal OSHA act is superseded by state occupational safety laws. South Carolina’s OSHA laws can be found in South Carolina Code §41-15.
No-Fault Workers’ Compensation Insurance
The workers’ compensation program in South Carolina is a no-fault insurance program. This means that an employee who falls ill or suffers an injury on the job have benefits no matter who is at fault for the accident.
When it comes to receiving workers’ compensation benefits, an injured employee does not have to prove negligence on the part of their employer to win a claim. In return, the employee agrees not to sue the employer for their injuries for most illnesses and injuries. Consulting with a well-versed Spartanburg workplace safety lawyer could help a potential plaintiff discover what legal rights they have under their circumstances.
In some cases, a workplace injury or illness may not be the fault of the employee or the employer, but rather the fault of a third party. This is one of the most common reasons for an injured worker to be able to file a civil suit after a workplace injury.
For example, a third-party claim may be filed against a negligent driver and their auto insurance company if the injured employee drives for their job and is involved in a car crash. Alternatively, if an injury occurred on the job while in someone’s home, an injured worker could possibly have grounds to file a civil suit against a homeowner and their homeowners’ insurance company.
Finally, if an employer acted with intent to cause harm to an employee, this may be a valid reason for filing a personal injury lawsuit. Qualifying acts may include assault, invasion of privacy, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and conversion in the event of damage to personal property.
Speak to a Spartanburg Workplace Safety Attorney Today
You may be wondering if your occupational injury warrants a personal injury lawsuit. A qualified Spartanburg workplace safety lawyer may be able to help you determine this.
If your case does have merit, your attorney could help you seek justice for your injuries. Call today to learn more about your rights after a workplace injury.