The Employer’s Duty of Care Owed to Employees
Texas Personal Injury Lawyers » The Employer’s Duty of Care Owed to Employees
What Duty of Care Does an Employer Owe Their Employees and How Does it Apply to Workplace Accidents?
The Occupational and Safety Health Administration, otherwise known as OSHA, is a government entity that defines and manages an employer’s responsibility for the safety of its employees. The administration outlines in detail the requirements that an employer must comply with in order to protect their workers from being harmed or even killed while on the job. OSHA has created standard requirements that companies must follow in order to protect their workers from hazards and dangerous work accidents. But what exactly are the employers required to do?
Standard Duty of Care
Employers are required to perform a standard duty of care. This means that a company must comply with a reasonable duty of care to ensure the protection and safety of its employees. The employer must act as a reasonably prudent person would act in the same or similar situation. This might entail removing any obviously dangerous or potentially hazardous material. Or simply providing extra safety devices in a situation where a reasonably prudent person would determine them necessary. For example, every time you go into a public building with a staircase there is always a hand rail to assist people in walking up and down the staircase. This is considered a reasonable action. The building owner understands that people will occasionally lose their balance when traversing a staircase and it is reasonable to provide a hand railing to prevent anyone from falling and hurting themselves. Therefore, they have fulfilled their standard duty of care.
Basically, an employer’s standard duty of care is to make sure that the work environment is as safe as possible in order to prevent potential work accidents. Another prime example would be the ventilation system at your work emitting a harmful or irritating chemical. Rather than simply providing its workers with masks to protect their nose and throat, under the standard duty of care the employer must do its best to diminish or eliminate altogether these toxic fumes. If the company simply wants to supply these masks as a cheap alternative to ventilating the air they are violating this duty of care. The reasonable standard of care would require the company to fix the ventilation system if that is a possibility.
If it’s not possible to completely fix the problem, then it would become the employer’s duty to provide other methods for protecting the health of the workers. If you have suffered an injury while working you will need an attorney who has extensive knowledge and understanding about employer responsibilities and work related injuries. Our Law Offices can help you understand your rights as an employee and help you seek recovery from all responsible parties.
OSHA Requirements for Duty of Care Can Be Job Specific
OSHA has declared that certain jobs have a higher duty of care than simply a general duty of reasonable care. OSHA states that the employer must act with a greater effort to preserve the health and safety of their employees in certain types of jobs. Some jobs have a greater potential and threat of harm and therefore these types of employers have a greater responsibility for ensuring the safety of their workers.
Texas Work Injury Lawsuit
For example, construction companies or companies that regularly work with hazardous materials owe a greater standard of care to their employees. Construction company employees are constantly surrounded by dangerous materials and vehicles and OSHA specifically outlines requirements that these companies must adhere to in order to protect its workers. Companies that work with hazardous materials like highly contagious viruses and diseases would have their own job specific requirements since their employees are exposed to extreme dangers on a daily basis.
Some cases are job specific and it’s important to discuss your case with a qualified attorney. Your attorney should have first-hand knowledge of work accident cases and be able to explain to you the duty of care that your employer owes you as a worker. The attorneys at Our Law Offices have over 20 years of experience handling workplace accidents. If you have been injured while working and would like to speak with one of our attorneys to discuss your rights call us. We’re here to help you day or night.