Questions Raised About OSHA’s Effectiveness
ABC 13, a news agency from Houston, recently filed an investigative report pertaining to the effectiveness of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) in Texas. The catalyst of a report was a major scaffolding accident which occurred in the city of Houston in early October. At a luxury apartment building, in the center of downtown, scaffolding reportedly fell “like dominos” and seriously injured six workers. OSHA is currently investigating that incident, but the ABC 13 report raises some questions about OSHA’s ability to protect worker safety. Worker safety should be one of the highest priorities in Texas. Remember, if you, or a loved one, is ever injured on the job, contact an experienced Texas work injury attorney immediately.What is OSHA?
OSHA, is a federal organization and an arm of the Department of Labor. The United States has many health and safety related labor standards, it is OSHA’s responsibility to enforce this standards. OSHA’s goal is to help prevent workplace accidents and protect the safety of American workers. OSHA job is fundamentally about prevention of future accidents and the sanctioning of failing employers. But, once you have been injured on the job, OSHA can not directly help you. You need to contact an experienced Texas work injury attorney. There is no time to waste, in workplace injury cases time limits are generally very strict.What Does the Investigative Report Conclude?
The report raises serious questions over whether or not OSHA can effectively do the job in it’s current form. According to the report, Houston led the nation in new construction in 2014, but OSHA only has 24 compliance officers for the entire Houston metropolitan area. Houston is not an outlier, that level of staffing is common across the state of Texas and around the nation. In Texas, there is one OSHA compliance officer for every 95,000 Texas workers. To put that in perspective, it would take OSHA 155 years to inspect every job site in Texas at the current level of staffing. The understaffing issue is just one of the reasons why OSHA enforcement ability appears to be too weak. Beyond that, the fines for serious OSHA violations are very low. The investigative report cites a 2013 accident, which led to the death of an employee of a garbage hauling company. OSHA determined that the death was preventable and that the company was not compiling with health and safety standards, but the fine that was leveled on the company was only 7000 dollars. That dollar figure is simply not high enough to make a significant impact. An experienced work injury attorney is necessary to get justice in these cases.Contact An Experienced Texas Work Injury Attorney
OSHA may need to be reformed to increase its ability to enforce federal health and safety standards. Reform always comes slowly though. Ultimately, if you have been injured on the job you need protection right now. Texas work injury law is complicated and you do not want to put your legal rights and ability to recover full and fair compensation at risk. At the Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos we have the knowledge and experience to help to recover the benefits you deserve. Contact our office today to schedule a free legal consultation.