Regulation and Enforcement of Workplace Safety and Health

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is a federal agency that is part of the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA provides training, outreach, education and assistance to maintain safe and healthy workplace conditions. The agency is also responsible for regulation and enforcement of workplace safety and health.

Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. has diligently studied and regularly applied OSHA regulations for more than 30 years. Our lawyers remain up-to-date on the laws that affect our clients’ rights. Many of our personal injury and wrongful death claims arise from OSHA violations. In most cases, had the owner, contractor, its agents and employers followed the law, the accident likely would not have happened.

In addition to bringing a civil lawsuit and filing for workers’ compensation on behalf of our clients, we may monitor the OSHA investigation process. An OSHA violation proves the property owner, general contractor, its agents and/or the employer acted in a manner that put you at risk. Second, we can hopefully spare another construction worker from being injured by their negligent actions.

It is important to note that an OSHA violation is not necessary for us to hold the wrongdoer accountable and get you the money and benefits you are entitled to.

OSHA Investigations

OSHA conducts around 40,000 workplace inspections every year. Although this sounds like a lot, in actuality it represents only a small fraction of workplaces in the country. During the inspections, OSHA cited employers for almost 80,000 violations in 2013, including more than 58,000 serious violations and 319 willful violations and more than 3,000 repeat offenders.

In the same year, close to one-fourth of the investigations were triggered by a complaint and 826 investigations arose out of the death of a worker.

Reporting Violations to OSHA

You may consider notifying OSHA about a dangerous workplace condition. After making a complaint to OSHA, your rights as a whistleblower are protected. Your employer is not permitted to retaliate against you for reporting hazardous conditions and aiding in the law enforcement investigation. In other words, your employer cannot fire you, dock your pay, transfer you to an undesirable shift or jobsite or otherwise make an adverse employment decision just because you reported a violation without facing liability.

Our New York City OSHA lawyers can help you report violations at your jobsite, and represent you during any retaliation, if necessary. We discuss the process and explain how the complaint will affect your claim for money and benefits.

Common OSHA Violations

OSHA has an extensive body of regulations governing every aspect of construction-related jobs, including such matters as:

  • Fall risks
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals and gasses
  • Explosion and fire hazards
  • Proper ventilation of the workspace
  • Trenching, excavation and tunneling
  • Cranes, forklifts and other heavy machinery
  • Use of power tools and other dangerous equipment
  • Protecting hearing and sight
  • Working around electricity

Your employer is expected to know these rules and comply with them. Failure to do so can cost your employer expensive fines or a stop-work order. In the worst case scenario, noncompliance puts your life and health in jeopardy.

Learn More about OSHA Regulations and Violations

Call Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. at 1-888-575-6410 to schedule your free appointment with our lawyers who are knowledgeable about OSHA regulations and violations. Our offices are located in Manhattan, Bronx, Jericho, Deer Park or White Plains. We handle your claim on a contingency fee basis.