Whenever you associate safety with your place of work, you probably tick all the boxes for security, cleanliness and fire drills. This can give you a sense of security that your workplace has taken all precautions to keep you safe from danger. However, is your workplace as safe as you think it is? Data from the US
Data from the US Department of Labor suggested that nearly 3.1 million non-fatal injuries were reported at private workplaces in 2010 – the equivalent of 3.5 cases for every 100 workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported that 4, 690 workers died on the job in 2010.
Negligent Workplace Security
Negligence is regarded as behavior that falls below the guidelines established by law for protecting others against unreasonable harm. In a workplace, negligence is usually the result of failing to maintain standards of safety for employees, which may result in harm or injuries on office premises.
While many offices take precautions against big factors, several of them ignore smaller factors that can result in unprecedented accidents and injuries at the workplace. Workplace management is typically responsible for keeping the office in secure condition. A workplace can be held liable for negligence in the following instances:
- Poor maintenance resulting in broken doors or windows resulting in injuries.
- Lack of security cameras and security alarms resulting in grievous injuries.
- Poorly lit staircases, ramps, and parking lots resulting in slips and falls as well as other injuries.
- Lack of well-trained security personnel and other safeguards for employees.
- Lack of proper screening policies for new employees, resulting in crimes against old employees.
- Unsecured office floors resulting in burglaries, intrusions and injuries.
- Lack of adequate policies after an untoward violent attack at the workplace.
- Repeatedly ignoring complaints about potential security threats and breaches.
- Reducing security by citing budget constraints.
Failure to manage any of these security breaches can result in negligent security claims against business and property owners. Most states require employers to take reasonable action for protecting employees. The Labor Department now requires companies in high-risk sectors to provide injury and illness information online to drive up workplace safety standards. OSHA hopes to create more transparency towards helping workers and companies know more about workplace injuries in order to find suitable solutions to reduce them.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work For Negligence?
According to OSHA guidelines, a business or company must undertake health and safety measures to protect workers from harm. Workers’ compensation insurance has been set up to protect employees by covering their medical, recovery and other injury-related expenses.
Most businesses are expected to carry this type of insurance, but the laws and implementation vary among states. If you have a workplace injury or illness, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation, irrespective of who was responsible. The tradeoff is that you cannot sue your employer for further damages, even if you can prove negligence on their part.
Filing Lawsuit Claims For Negligence
For many injured workers, compensation works well for them. Unfortunately, in some instances, this form of compensation doesn’t adequately protect the interest of employees.
This is especially true if injuries were the result of recklessness and negligence on the part of employers and other vendors at the workplace. In this case, employees may bypass workers’ compensation and may sue their employer and file lawsuit claims for damages. The widow of a Philadelphia electrician received a record $17 million in a wrongful workplace death settlement. The lawsuit contended that the death was the result of negligence from the employer Veolia Energy.
In some cases, even security companies and other third-party vendors can be held liable for negligence or lapses in
safety and security at the workplace. For instance, a jury awarded $46 million to the grieving families of two women employees who were killed by another disgruntled employee at Philadelphia’s Kraft Foods plant in 2010. The lawsuit was filed against security companies USSA claiming that their security guards failed to protect the employees inside during the shooting.
These situations make it difficult for employees at the workplace, so it may be prudent to get as much compensation as possible. Compensation is all the more important if you’re suffering from physical injuries, emotional trauma, and high medical costs because of negligence from employers and third-party vendors.