To prevent workplace injuries leading to workers’ compensation needs, the state of Minnesota has numerous workplace safety laws. These laws establish safe limits for work activities, protect employees from dangerous conditions, and mandate reporting when accidents occur. The laws also protect employees from discrimination if they raise health and safety issues.
The agency overseeing Minnesota workplace health and safety is called MNOSHA – the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It enforces a lengthy set of laws and regulations covering everything from exposure to hazardous substances to recordkeeping. Employers in Minnesota must follow both Minnesota and federal workplace health and safety laws. The Minnesota laws have some stricter requirements than federal law, particularly as to worker protection from hazardous and infectious substances.
Despite the MNOSHA laws, accidents still occur at the workplace. When workers are seriously injured, employers must report the injuries to MNOSHA. The agency may investigate any safety violations leading to the injuries. Employers who do not timely report injuries may face fines.
To help prevent workplace injuries in the future, MNOSHA allows employees to make workplace safety complaints to the agency. Employees may face retaliation for making workplace safety complaints, for talking to OSHA, or for reporting a workplace injury. They can file OSHA complaints about this retaliation as well. Employees facing retaliation for reporting their own workplace injury to the employer also should speak to a workers’ compensation attorney.
Some employees may worry that they will face consequences from OSHA for reporting a workplace injury if they were not following OSHA rules at the time. Fortunately, workplace health and safety laws err on the side of protecting employees. So does the workers’ compensation system, which follows a no-fault rule. Even if an employee was at fault in the accident causing his injuries, he still may receive benefits in the form of medical care and wage replacement payments.
Did a workplace safety violation lead to your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.