Michigan Laws that Keep Construction Workers Safe
The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) is the governmental body responsible for supervising the safety of workers in the workplace. Both employers and employees have certain responsibilities under the MIOSHA regulations, and when there is a dispute, the cases very often involve the services of a construction accident attorney.
There are some key elements in what MIOSHA expects to see in a successful health and safety program for construction or industry, and the expectation is that if followed, companies can reduce workplace accidents before they even happen. These key areas are in management and employee commitment, hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, and safety and health training
The mission for MIOSHA is to provide employees jobs and workplaces free from recognized hazards that can cause injury or death. This expectation revolves around certain tenants that require the diligent implementation by employers and the attention of the employees.
A priority on this list is that the employer must report every work-related hospitalization, amputation, loss of an eye, and employee death. The employer must also maintain a permanent medical record of all injuries or illnesses, and this record must be available for inspection by MIOSHA and any construction accident attorney upon request.
The employer must instruct all employees how to report an accident or illness, make all medical and accident records available to the employee, and provide medical exams when necessary. In addition, the employer must provide adequate training in safety procedures for the workplace and the equipment, and they cannot discriminate for any reason.
Finally, employers must post an annual summary of all of the recorded accidents and illnesses that occurred during the year as well as any citations that were levied if the rules were violated.
Training for the MIOSHA requirements requires that employees are made aware of their rights. These rights include the following:
Employees have a right to know about any hazardous chemicals in the workplace, and they have a right to know about any other injuries or illnesses that might affect the workplace.
Employees have a right to make a complaint about workplace hazards, violations of MIOSHA standards, and harmful situations without fear of retaliation. These complaints should be held in confidence and can be reviewed by both MIOSHA inspectors as well as construction accident attorneys.
Finally, employees have the right to participate in MIOSHA inspections and examine exposure and medical records.
Four Key Elements
First and foremost, the company management must be in line and supportive of all the MIOSHA requirements and regulations. Without this support, both supervisors and employees can become lax in being aware of unsafe situations, and this attitude towards safety can lead to more accidents.
Safety training is also a key element in protecting the worker in the workplace. Procedures for the handling and storage of toxic chemicals, the operation, and maintenance of tools and equipment, and the general safety of movement in and around the workplace should be reviewed in regular training seminars and discussions.
Worksite analysis and hazard control can also create a much safer workplace environment. Jobs should be designed to reduce and eliminate hazardous situations, and logical steps should be taken to address and suspicious procedures or work-related practices. An experienced construction accident attorney will always look at this analysis if there is a related accident.
Employers rarely, if ever know that a MIOSHA inspection is scheduled or upcoming. Any0ne who tips off an employer about a MIOSHA inspection can be fined. However, if there is an imminent danger due to an explosion or another event, then the employer will be notified. There may also be inspections if there is a hospitalization or fatality, a complaint by a worker, or a follow-up inspection to verify that the problem has been corrected.
In Michigan statutes of limitation limit, the length of time you have to file a lawsuit, so it is critical you seek legal help as soon as possible if you have been injured in a construction site accident. Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. will fight for your rights. Call us today on (866)-642-4529 for a no obligation consultation. Our law firm never charges a free unless a recovery is made.