Workplace Safety Laws
Workplace accidents are not uncommon in Texas and other states across the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 600 fatal work-related injuries across Texas in 2019.
There are strict regulations and workplace safety laws in place to prevent and reduce the risk of work-related injuries and deaths. Employers can face severe penalties for failing to provide a safe working environment to their employees and violating workplace safety standards. Workplace accidents are investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which also has the authority to cite employers for workplace safety violations.
Employers in Texas must comply with both federal and state workplace safety laws. In particular, Texas state law requires employers to provide a hazard-free workplace for employees.
Common Workplace Injuries
A worker may sustain injuries in any type of workplace accident. Statistically speaking, some workplace accidents cause more work-related injuries and fatalities than others. Common types of on-the-job accidents include:
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Falls from heights
- Faulty equipment
- Employer negligence
- Commercial motor vehicle accidents
- Inadequate training
- Safety code violations
- Improper supervision
These and other types of work-related accidents can cause severe and debilitating injuries. Regardless of the type of accident, you might be entitled to compensation for your on-the-job injury or occupational illness.
Steps to Take Following
a Work-Related Accident
If you were injured in a work-related accident, taking the following steps can be crucial for protecting your health and your right to compensation:
- Seek medical attention right away. The first step to take after a workplace accident is to receive medical care. Depending on the nature of the accident and the severity of your injury, you may need to be transported to an emergency room.
- File an accident report. Many workers in Texas underestimate the importance of filing an accident report. It is critical to notify your employer of your work-related accident as soon as you possibly can. Under Texas law, workers have an obligation to file an accident report within 30 days of the date of the accident. The longer you wait to report the work-related injury, the more difficult it will be to prove that you are eligible for benefits.
- Gather documentation. Your ability to obtain full and fair compensation depends on the evidence and documents you can gather to support your claim. Evidence that could be relevant includes your own account of events, a copy of the accident report and medical report, photos from the scene of the accident, witness statements, surveillance footage, and others.
- Speak with an attorney. A skilled attorney can explain your legal remedies and guide you through the process of seeking compensation for your work-related injury. Your attorney will be on your side throughout the claims process to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled.
Filing a Third-Party Claim
Under certain circumstances, workers may have the option of filing a third-party claim. You may have a right to pursue a third-party personal injury claim when your work-related injury was the result of negligence on the part of a third party. By filing a third-party claim, you can obtain additional compensation beyond what is available to you under the workers’ compensation law.
However, if your third-party claim is successful, the workers’ compensation insurance provider will be reimbursed for the amount it paid to the injured worker. This is called “subrogation.”