According to the US Department of Labor reports, slips and falls are some of the common forms of work-place related accidents. The numbers are particularly high for those individuals working in the construction industry. While it may seem like a simple trip and fall, such accidents have been known to cause serious injuries and in other instances death. For an employee, it also brings about other complications such as having to miss work while out nursing injuries.
In other cases, it may result in piling medical bills that you have no idea how to settle them. When this happens, it is important for you to consult your attorney on whether there are legal options that you can explore. This is based on the understanding that under the country’s federal law, every employee has a right to a safe working environment. Therefore, this article will focus on analyzing some of the rights and options for en employee that slipped and fell at Home Depot.
Common Causes of Falls in a Workplace
It is important to understand some of the common causes of slip and fall in the workplace. Federal law requires that the employer should train their employees on how to spot and avoid common workplace hazards. The following is an example of such hazards:
- Spilled liquids
- Poor lighting
- Uneven pavements
- Broken stairs
- Lack of rails on stairs
- Lose and uncovered electrical wires/ports
- Wet floors
What the Law Says on Employer’s Responsibility
Everything you need to know about workplace health and safety in the USA can be referenced to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA). This legislation has helped develop health and safety regulations that every workplace must adhere to. Based on these regulations, the law sets in place certain duties and obligations that every employer must meet to ensure the safety of their employees.
Among those duties include the requirement that every employer must maintain a safe working environment. This implies that it is the role of the employer to ensure that their work-place is free of elements that are likely to cause accidents. They are also expected to provide warning signs in the work-place for any situations or elements they think are likely to cause accidents.
For example, slippery floor signs or construction ahead signs. The employer is also expected to train employees on how to report any elements they feel are likely to result in accidents or harm them while working.
Holding the Employer Accountable for Workplace Slip and Falls
The laws as stipulated by OSHA give the employee the right to hold employers legally accountable for any unsafe working conditions. Depending on the approach taken by your personal injury attorney, this can be interpreted in so many ways. The only task is for your lawyer to prove to the court that your slip and fall accident was caused by negligence on the part of the employer. This will require the attorney to produce evidence proving that a third-party is liable for the said accident.
- However, this is not such an easy task, which is why most workers end up losing in such lawsuits. The following are examples of some tips you can use in proving the employer’s liability:
- Lack of warning signs cautioning the employees of hazardous situations
- The employer does not provide new employees with training on the proper workplace safety features
- The existence of work-place hazards that the employer had been made aware of but was not fixed
- The existence of elements that caused you to slip long before your accident occurred.
In summary, always remember that as an employee you have laws protecting your matters on workplace health and safety. This same law places an obligation on the employer to maintain a safe working environment for all its employees. Therefore, in the event of a slip and fall accident, it is important to consult a personal injury attorney to assess whether the employer is at fault for the said accident.