Employer Responsibilities for Workplace Safety

In Massachusetts and across the United States, ensuring workplace safety is a major responsibility for employers. Workplace injuries can have devastating consequences for employees, ranging from physical harm to financial strain. As such, employers are legally obligated to create and maintain a safe working environment, adhering to both federal regulations and state-specific laws. Understanding these responsibilities is important for both employers and employees alike.

Consider a construction site where workers are required to wear protective gear such as hard hats and harnesses. The employer’s responsibility extends beyond merely providing this equipment; they must enforce its use and regularly inspect it for defects. Similarly, in an office setting, employers must ensure ergonomic workstations to prevent repetitive strain injuries. Read on for more information about employer responsibilities and how Altman & Altman, LLP can help if you’ve been injured at work.

National Employer Responsibilities

At the federal level, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets and enforces standards to ensure safe and healthful working conditions. Key responsibilities for employers under OSHA include:

  • Providing a Safe Workplace — Employers must identify and correct safety hazards in the workplace that could cause harm to employees.
  • Training and Education — Employers are required to train employees on potential workplace hazards and how to safely perform their job duties.
  • Maintaining Records — OSHA mandates that employers keep records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
  • Compliance with Standards — Employers must comply with OSHA standards applicable to their industry.

Failure to meet these obligations can lead to OSHA inspections, penalties, and legal consequences.

Specific Responsibilities in Massachusetts

Massachusetts also imposes specific requirements on employers to safeguard employee health and safety. These responsibilities may include:

  • Worker’s Compensation — Massachusetts law requires most employers to carry worker’s compensation insurance to provide benefits to employees injured on the job.
  • Additional Safety Training — Employers must provide adequate training to employees, especially in industries prone to accidents or hazards.
  • Health Regulations — Employers must adhere to state health regulations and ensure a healthy work environment.
  • Reporting Requirements — Employers are obligated to report workplace injuries and illnesses to the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents.

Workers’ Compensation and Additional Compensation

It’s important to note that while workers’ compensation covers most work-related injuries in Massachusetts, injured employees may be entitled to additional compensation if employer negligence contributed to the accident. This additional compensation may cover:

  • Lost Wages — If an injury prevents an employee from working, they may be entitled to compensation for lost wages beyond what workers’ compensation provides.
  • Medical Bills — Workers’ compensation covers medical expenses, but additional compensation may be sought for medical bills not covered or for ongoing treatment needs.
  • Pain and Suffering — In cases of severe injuries caused by employer negligence, injured workers may seek compensation for pain, suffering, and emotional distress.

How Altman & Altman, LLP Can Help

By fulfilling their legal obligations, employers not only protect their employees but also uphold the integrity of their business. If you or a loved one has been injured at work, you may be entitled to substantial compensation. At Altman & Altman, LLP, our experienced personal injury attorneys specialize in advocating for victims of workplace accidents. Contact us today for a confidential consultation and to learn more.

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