Houston Attorney for Injuries Caused by a Violation of 29 U.S.C. § 654(a)(1) (OSHA Section 5)
OSHA regulations are designed to keep workers safe. Some of OSHA’s regulations deal with specific industries, while others deal with general duties that employers owe their workers. Houston workers who have been injured during the coronavirus pandemic because of a lack of personal protective equipment or other safety issues at their workplace might be able to sue their employer for violating OSHA regulations such as U.S.C. § 654(a)(1) (OSHA section 5).
If you or a loved one caught coronavirus at work or was otherwise injured at work during the coronavirus pandemic in Houston, TX, call The Queenan Law Firm today. Our Houston attorneys for injuries caused by a violation of 29 U.S.C. § 654(a)(1) (OSHA section 5) might be able to help you file for compensation for your own injuries or the death of a loved one. For a free legal consultation and more information about what your claim might be worth, call us today at (817) 476-1797.
OSHA Section 5 Violations from Coronavirus in Houston, TX
Victims of coronavirus in the Houston area involve many workers who contracted COVID-19 while working in essential industries. Many workers whose businesses continued operations during the coronavirus pandemic were forced to continue working under less than ideal conditions, but some conditions have been downright dangerous.
Essential workers on the frontlines of this pandemic could become ill if they are exposed to clients or customers who have COVID-19, which means that grocery store workers and hospital workers are at an especially high risk of exposure. Other workers could catch coronavirus from each other, such as at warehouses and meatpacking plants.
If your employer does not provide you with a safe working environment, this could constitute a violation of 29 U.S.C. § 654(a)(1) (OSHA section 5). This statute, which is the law of the land in all 50 states, requires workers to provide their employees with a safe work environment. This means they have a general duty to keep the workplace safe and to provide workers with necessary protective equipment and safety gear. Failing to do so could mean that injured or ill employees have the right to sue their employer for injuries.
Employers throughout the Houston area and throughout the country have been responsible for workers becoming sick or injured because of violations of this duty, usually in one of three ways:
Failing to Provide PPE
Personal protective equipment (PPE) has been essential in keeping many workers safe. Hospital workers are probably the most familiar with PPE such as masks, respirators, gowns, and face shields. Workers in other industries are becoming familiar with N95 respirator masks, which filter out 95% of particles in the air, and other protective equipment such as plexiglass screens at registers and simple latex gloves.
If you or a loved one worked in an industry where exposure to coronavirus was likely, your workplace might not be considered safe under OSHA section 5 regulations without this kind of protective equipment. Other safety gear necessary for your job could also be essential, such as masks and respirators to prevent injury from dangerous chemicals or construction materials. Allowing workers to continue without this gear is likely considered negligent, and injured workers or workers who got COVID-19 might be entitled to sue.
Loosened Safety Conditions at Work
With fewer workers coming into work and less oversight, many workplaces have become less safe. This could be due to cancelled inspections or situations where managers and supervisors are furloughed or kept away from on-site operations. If safety conditions at your workplace fell below the normal standards they should follow on a daily basis, this might violate OSHA section 5’s general duty.
There are very few valid excuses for why a workplace’s safety standards should slip during the coronavirus pandemic, and workers injured by everyday hazards and accidents that should have been avoided might be entitled to sue their employers as well.
Injuries from Understaffing
Some workplaces or work tasks become unsafe without enough staff. Workers responsible for cleaning and maintaining the premises might be furloughed or sick, leaving additional hazards and dangers at your workplace. Alternatively, jobs that usually require a group of people to perform safely, such as lifting and carrying with two people, could be understaffed.
If your employer continued operations without the proper staffing necessary to keep workers safe, this could also violate the OSHA Act section 5 safety requirements.
Suing for OSHA Section 5 Violations During the COVID-19 Outbreak in Houston
If you or a loved one got sick from coronavirus or you or a loved one was injured in a workplace accident because of OSHA violations, you might be entitled to sue in Houston. Workers in Houston can opt out of workers’ compensation, allowing them to sue their employer for negligence in the workplace.
Since OSHA section 5 puts the duty to provide safety gear and a safe work environment on the employer, any lapses in safety could be considered negligence on the part of your employer. If you opted out of workers’ compensation in Houston, this could entitle you to sue for your injuries. If your loved one contracted COVID-19 and died or faced some other deadly accident at work, this could also entitle you to sue for your loss.
Call Our Houston Workplace Injury and Coronavirus Lawyer for Help After an OSHA Safety Violation
Talk to an attorney about how to proceed with your potential case and what you might be entitled to in damages. Our Houston attorneys for injuries caused by a violation of 29 U.S.C. § 654(a)(1) (OSHA section 5) represent victims of COVID-19 and other injuries in lawsuits against their employers for unsafe work conditions. We also represent the surviving family of deceased workers and fight to get their families compensation for their loss. For a free legal consultation on your potential case, call The Queenan Law Firm today at (817) 476-1797.