While every workplace is bound by U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards when it comes to work environment safety, employees in certain high-risk industries are especially aware of their presence.
For those who work in these risky industries—such as construction—it’s clear that there is a lot more to staying safe on the job than OSHA safety standards. The quality and frequency of training that each worker receives, the skills required and possessed by each individual on a jobsite, quality of sleep that each worker receives, individual health—there are infinite factors that contribute to a safe (or otherwise) workplace.
So Your Workplace Meets OSHA Requirements...So What?
Whether you work in a quiet library or a hectic construction site, your employer is held to certain OSHA standards to keep you safe. The question, however, is what does your employer do beyond the standards to keep you and your coworkers safe on the job?
A good example is the airline industry. Each air carrier is held to strict federal regulations (OSHA actually only recently extended protection to flight crew members, but it remains limited in scope), but beyond that, each carrier must have operating procedures that meet or exceed federal standards—and crew members must follow the stricter of two duplicate regulations. For instance, federal regulations prohibit a crew member from working a flight within eight hours of consuming alcohol, but many carriers require 10 or 12 hours.
Many safety professionals insist that more is needed to protect workers in every field. OSHA standards are notoriously outdated and incomplete in many industries—and even OSHA agrees that their standards are not enough to guarantee workplace safety. Improvements in reporting and inspections could help, but in the end, OSHA safety regulations should be thought of as bare minimums for workplaces to remain legal, not guarantees that they are completely safe.
OSHA officials have said that they will encourage and assist employers to improve safety standards and programs at each individual workplace.
Have You Been Injured on an OSHA-Compliant Site? You Still Have Rights!
Just because your workplace meets every workplace safety requirement does not mean that your injury makes you ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Have You Been Injured At Work?
If you've been injured on the job you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Augusta office directly at 706.863.6600 to schedule your free consultation.