Workplace Safety in New York City
Employers in New York City have both an ethical and legal responsibility to provide their employees with a safe work environment on a daily basis. Workplace safety in New York City is an immense responsibility and necessary to ensure that the workplace is kept free of hazardous machines and toxic chemicals, and that workers are protected against any violations of the workplace standards established by the United States Occupational and Health Administration (OSHA).
The OSHA was established in 1971 and has had a dramatic effect on workplace safety since that time. It is estimated that in 1970 around 14,000 were killed on the job, and this number fell to as low as 4,340 in 2009. This is despite the fact that U.S. employment has almost doubled and there are now more than 130 million workers at more than 7.2 million worksites. In order to prevent workplace accidents, the OSHA has created many standards and guidelines for different industries.
If you have been injured on the job, you may be able to seek compensation for the injuries and damages you have sustained. In fact, you can seek compensation even if you weren’t injured if you are able to prove that the company you work for was not engaging in best practices. In order to do so, you need the help of an experienced New York City injury lawyer who understands the state’s workers’ compensation laws and the OSHA guidelines as well.
About the New York State Plan
Under Section 27(a) of New York Labor Law, the New York State Plan for Public Employee Safety and Health (PESH) takes responsibility for promoting the health and safety of more than 2 million State and Local government employees throughout the state. Other sections of this plan provide job health and safety standards for all public sector employers in the State, and these standards must be “at least as effective” as the Federal OSHA standards. Federal OSHA maintains jurisdiction over all private sector workplaces in New York, which includes industries such as maritime, military, long shoring, the U.S. Postal Service, construction and more.
Some of the regulations that New York employers must heed include:
- The requirement to provide appropriate training and medical examinations when necessary
- The requirement to acknowledge, post, and rectify OSHA citations
- The requirement to report any fatal workplace accident
- The requirement to report any accident that resulted in the hospitalization of three or more employees
- The requirement to keep detailed record of all injuries, illnesses, accidents, and deaths at the workplace
- The requirement to ensure that all employees are provided with safe working equipment and materials
Despite these regulations, occupational injuries and illnesses are still occurring at a startling rate. It is estimated that these job-related injuries and illnesses cost the American economy roughly $250 billion per year because of medical expenses and lost productivity, according to government data, and roughly 40% of medical expenses from workplace hazards is paid by public programs like Medicare. Many studies show that investing in workplace safety saves money and protects workers’ lives, and employers must be held accountable when their negligence causes injury or harm to workers.