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Man Fatally Injured During Workplace Accident

Hurt At Work: Can I Recover Under Workers’ Comp?Several weeks ago a building manager lost his life while performing an inspection at one of his company’s worksites. This tragedy was determined to be an workplace accident without any signs of foul play. This incident sheds the light on potentially dangerous work conditions and the laws that have been put in place to protect workers from these type of situations. In New Jersey and across the United States workers are protected by the Occupational and Safety Hazard Act of 1970, commonly known as OSHA. For years, workers who sustained injuries or those who lost their lives while working for their employers had very few rights and legal remedies available to them. Today OSHA has given many workers an avenue to express their concerns of unsafe work environments against their employers. Unfortunately there still are many employees who may either feel intimidated by their employers, are treated unfairly, or may be unaware of their rights under OSHA. For those workers who find themselves in any of these positions, solutions are available by seeking legal representation to defend your rights.

OSHA And Obligations Of Employers

            Passed into federal law in 1970, OSHA was designed to “ensure a safe and healthy workplace for every working man and woman in the Nation.” The protections of OSHA were put into federal law to offer protection to almost all private sector employees across the country. While the provisions of this act cover some public sector employees as well, OSHA allows for states to implement their own state plans which are OSHA-approved job safety and health programs operated by these individual states. Although these programs can vary from state to state, they must comply with OSHA and be approved.

In New Jersey the state approved OSHA program covers local and government public sector workers only. What this means is any private sector employee working in New Jersey will be covered under federal law while all state and local government workers are covered under the state plan.

For private sector New Jersey Employees:

Under the provisions of OSHA who wish to prevent workplace accidents have certain provisions in place. You as an employee have a right to:

  • A safe workplace, free of known health and safety hazards
  • Receive training in a language you understand
  • Operate safe machinery
  • Report any injuries or illnesses and receive your medical records
  • Be provided with safety gear to protect against harmful chemicals or conditions
  • Receive and review all copies of workplace and work related injuries and any results done to find hazards in your work place

Any worker who feels that their rights have been violated in New Jersey are entitled to file a complaint with OSHA and have legal representation. By obtaining an attorney, a worker can protect their rights as well as seek any damages they are rightfully owed.

For New Jersey State and local government employees

In New Jersey the OSHA state plan is referred to as the PEOSH Act which is administered by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development and Department of Health. The PEOSH plan has a purpose to provide:

“assurances of a fully trained, adequate staff, including 20 safety and 7 health compliance officers for enforcement inspections, and 4 safety and 3 health consultants to perform consultation services in the public sector, and 2 safety and 3 health training and education staff.”

The PEOSH plan allows for the overseeing agencies to conduct inspections that can point out any potentially hazardous conditions present on the site. If any deficiencies are detected than these agencies can command that they are corrected. Local government and state employees who feel that their place of work has hazardous issues present or feels that their employer has not made a good faith effort to correct any issues that were addressed during an inspection can request an informal review with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

New Jersey Workplace Accident Attorney

There are many employees across the State of New Jersey that are working in the heavily urbanized areas of North New Jersey to large real estate and recreational projects in the south or by the shore. At Villani & Deluca we have represented clients in personal injury cases who suffered work related injuries in both Monmouth and Ocean County. It is important to understand that although your job may be your livelihood it can also affect your life outside of work or prospects for future employment. If you have suffered a work related injury as a result of your employer subjecting you to subpar conditions you have rights. By seeking legal representation from a team of experienced personal injury attorneys, you will be protecting yourself from further harm, or possible retaliation from your employer. In addition, you will be able to ensure that any work related event causing you hardship is addressed and rectified. Call us today at 732-965-3801 to speak to one of our attorneys about the facts of your case and receive a FREE consultation.