The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) came into existence following the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. This act, and its rules, have been adopted by the state of Illinois. It now exists to ensure that employers offer their employees working conditions that comply with the act’s regulations.
Sometimes, there exists a question of who — or which employer at a construction site — is responsible and liable for OSHA compliance. For example, is it the subcontractor, the general contractor or another party? The answer to this question is that the party or individual that was controlling a job site — at the time of the employee’s injury — was the one responsible for OSHA compliance.
Whenever a serious job site accident happens, OSHA inspectors will arrive on scene to carry out an investigation. If OSHA determines that regulatory violations took place, then the party at fault for the OSHA violation will be deemed negligent and liable for the injuries.
The issues of negligence and responsibility for a job site injury are particularly important for the injured employee. In most cases, the injured employee will receive medical benefits coverage — and wage replacement benefits — from his or her workers’ compensation claim arising from the injuries. However, when an OSHA violation is clear, and if the violation was the fault of a third party — and not the fault of the worker’s employer — then a third-party personal injury claim could be warranted in addition to the workers’ compensation claims.
Injured Illinois workers who believe they might have the potential to pursue a claim against a third-party — in addition to their workers’ compensation claims — may want to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer. A lawyer will know what to look for, and what facts to consider, in order to determine the viability of personal injury lawsuit in addition to a workers’ compensation claim.
Source: FindLaw, “Construction injury overview,” accessed March 03, 2017