The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers in Oklahoma and around the country to provide safe working conditions for their employees as well as keeping track of injuries and reporting them. To the extent that is possible, employers must ensure that the workplaces are free of hazards, and when hazards are unavoidable, organizations must take steps to ensure that employees are able to work safely.
If dangerous materials or tools are required, the employer must provide training for employees in the language they are familiar with. When employees have to work with dangerous chemicals, in addition to training, the organization must also keep safety data sheets on hand for employees to refer to. Posters must also be prominently displayed that list the rights and responsibilities of employees.
When accidents occur, employers must log the incident and make those records available to employees and their representatives. Medical and exposure records must be made accessible as well. Employers are also required to report serious accidents in a limited time frame. OSHA must be informed of an employee fatality within eight hours. For work-related amputations, losses of an eye and inpatient hospitalizations, companies have 24 hours to report them.
When an employee is injured in a workplace accident, workers’ compensation benefits may be available to cover the costs of medical treatment, regardless of whose fault it was. In some cases, however, if the worker’s injury was due to the negligence of a non-employer third party, such as a vendor, it may be possible to file a separate personal injury lawsuit in addition to the workers’ compensation claim. The assistance of an attorney who has experience with these matters is often helpful to injured victims.