Safety Protocols and Work Related Injuries
We rarely see a day go by where someone doesn’t call our office inquiring about a work related accident injury. Some of these calls can be analyzed quickly where the injury is slight. Others however require a detailed evaluation to determine if the caller has a case that qualifies to be pursued.
We understand that getting hurt while at work, or in a work related capacity, no matter how transient the injury, is traumatizing and can result in lost time, diminished income, and medical bills nobody expected to receive. But the question you need an attorney to unemotionally answer is: does my injury qualify as a case against my employer or employer’s insurance company or a third party (such as the maker of a defective product or a sub-contractor)?
One of the things we look for in determining validity of a case is whether safety protocols were followed. Did the employer, or party charged by law with worksite safety, enforce proper safety rules such as those prescribed by OSHA? Warning signs, safety cages, monitoring equipment, hazmat suits, steel toe shoes, safety tethers, safety shields around saw blades, protective eyewear, ear plugs, wrist bands, and back braces are just some of the types of equipment that are available to keep employees safe at work. Were safety rules posted? If so, when? Did the employees know of the safety rules and choose not to follow them? Did the employer know that safety rules were not being followed, or even encourage workers to ignore safety protocols? Was proper safety equipment unavailable to the workers? Was a safety guard removed from equipment? If so, who removed the safety guard?
If a person sustains an eye injury while performing his or her work duties, one of the questions we may ask is whether the worker was wearing proper eye protection. If not, why not? Was eye protection available, but not worn? Or, was protection never provided? During our questioning of a caller we might ask if protective gear was made available for use. If safety gear was available, but rejected by workers, we need to inquire as to why it was rejected.
Despite all attempts at warning employees of dangers, or making them aware with notices, rules and regulations, or through providing protective gear, work related injuries do happen. Falls, exposure to chemicals or fumes, equipment malfunctions, device failures, machine defects, and electrical shocks are just some of the many ways our clients have been hurt. If your injury happened in the State of Indiana then we invite you to call our office, and spend a few minutes with us reviewing your injury and the circumstances leading to your injury, as we help determine if in fact your situation meets the guidelines to proceed with legal action.