The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is a government agency in charge of keeping workers in North Carolina and other parts of the country safe. To do so, it implements and polices a number of safety regulations. Failing to abide by these regulations can result in fines to an employer.
An OSHA investigation will likely take place after any significant workplace accident. How thorough and wide-ranging the investigation will be depends on a number of factors, including how serious the accident was. For example, an accident involving a fatality will get a lot more scrutiny than one in which a worker suffered a cut or bruise but was otherwise fine.
After an investigation, OSHA will typically prepare a report as to what caused the accident. If called for, OSHA may also take enforcement action against an employer for violations of safety rules and regulations.
Some might question why OSHA investigations are so important in workers’ compensation claims. After all, Charlotte, North Carolina, employees who are injured or fall ill because of their jobs can usually claim benefits on a no-fault basis, meaning that even if the employer did nothing wrong, they must still pay for their employees’ injuries.
However, OSHA investigations are indeed important for a number of reasons. In some cases, they may help an injured worker overcome a challenge to their valid workers’ compensation claim. Perhaps more importantly, an investigation can help an injured worker establish that some other person or business, not the worker’s employer, also bears some responsibility for the injury.
In such cases, the worker may have a viable third party liability claim for negligence, a claim that can help the worker get additional compensation that he or she may well need. For assistance with these matters, injured workers should consider seeking competent legal assistance.