What Happens After You File an OSHA Complaint in Massachusetts?
Filing an Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) complaint can help create a safer environment for Massachusetts construction workers. That being said, complaining employees should be prepared for what happens after they file a complaint with OSHA.
For OSHA to pursue a complaint from a Massachusetts worker, the complaint in question has to meet certain criteria. If it does, OSHA will then launch an inspection into a worksite’s safety and potentially hazardous environment. After an inspection is complete, an OSHA inspector may give citations and a recommended path forward to a Massachusetts employer. Suppose an employer’s negligence caused your injuries, or their refusal to adopt OSHA’s requirements after an inspection caused an accident. In that case, you may be able to file a lawsuit for compensatory damages in Massachusetts.
Our attorneys care about maintaining a safe working environment for Massachusetts construction workers. For a free case evaluation with the Boston construction site accident lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan, call today at (617) 925-6407.
How Does OSHA Review Massachusetts Complaints?
Suppose you and your Massachusetts construction site accident lawyer agree that it’s wise to file an OSHA complaint against your employer. In that case, you need to know what to expect. After receiving a complaint, OSHA applies the same evaluation practices to ensure that the proper action is taken.
Immediately after receiving a complaint from a Massachusetts construction worker, OSHA will evaluate the claim. At least one of the following concerns must be present in a complaint for OSHA to begin an inspection:
- Written and signed complaint from an employee claiming an OSHA violation exists
- An allegation that a hazard that caused physical harm is still present at a worksite
- Complaint about an employer currently under OSHA inspection
- Complaint about an employer or hazard under OSHA’s emphasis programs
- Complaint against an employer with a history of OSHA violations
- Inadequate response from an employer after worker reports dangers
- Referral from whistleblower
- Report of imminent danger
If one of the concerns mentioned above is noted in a complaint, OSHA will immediately move forward with an inspection. If not, OSHA will contact your Massachusetts employer and inform them of the complaining employee’s concerns. After receiving word from OSHA, your employer has five days to send a written response addressing safety concerns. If that response does not satisfy OSHA’s expectations, they will move forward with an inspection.
Protocol for OSHA Inspections After Receiving a Complaint in Massachusetts
OSHA will complete an inspection of a potentially hazardous Massachusetts worksite if it receives a concerning report from a worker or an employer doesn’t respond adequately to OSHA’s initial communications. This inspection can be lengthy, so complaining employees need to know what to expect.
When OSHA receives a concerning report from a Massachusetts construction worker, it will immediately launch an inspection. In these circumstances, the top priority for OSHA is workers’ health and safety. Suppose Massachusetts workers don’t appear to be in imminent danger from an employee’s complaint. In that case, OSHA will not view the specific worksite as a top priority. However, it will still eventually complete an inspection.
Generally, OSHA inspections are relegated to the specific hazards and concerns listed in an employee’s complaint. That being said, any dangers that are obvious to an inspector when investigating a Massachusetts worksite will be noted. It can be helpful to get a Massachusetts construction site accident lawyer for just this reason. Your attorney can help you include the necessary concerns in your OSHA complaint so that an inspector has reason to investigate a dangerous Massachusetts construction site further.
During an OSHA inspection, Massachusetts workers have the right to speak with an inspector privately. Workers can also appoint a representative to accompany an OSHA inspector during their investigation. After an inspection is complete, the complaining employee or worker representative will receive a summary of OSHA’s findings.
What Happens After an OSHA Inspection in Massachusetts?
After an OSHA complaint leads to a Massachusetts worksite inspection, a closing conference will occur. During this time, an OSHA inspector will explain their findings and illustrate ways for your Massachusetts employer to improve worker safety.
If an OSHA inspector finds violations on your employer’s behalf, they will be faced with citations at the closing conference. This is where an OSHA inspector will outline how your employer can improve their practices and provide a timeframe for them to do so. An employee representative can also be present at the closing conference.
It’s important to keep your Massachusetts construction site accident lawyer informed about what happens during a closing conference. Keep any documents that outline OSHA’s requirements for your employer’s future steps to address safety concerns and violations. If an employer fails to abide by OSHA’s requirements, these documents can be vital in a lawsuit against a negligent Massachusetts employer.
Can You Sue a Massachusetts Employer After Filing an OSHA Complaint?
Suppose you were injured as a result of a Massachusetts employer’s negligence and OSHA violations. In that case, you could file a lawsuit for compensatory damages. Massachusetts workers can sometimes sue their employer even if they have already filed a complaint with OSHA. There is also potential for a lawsuit if an employer ignores inspection results, causing worker injuries.
Our Wakefield construction site accident lawyers might be able to hold a negligent employer accountable for your injuries. That being said, Massachusetts’ Workers’ Compensation laws make it difficult to sue a negligent employer.
Because of this, injured workers should hire a Massachusetts construction site accident lawyer to see if their injuries permit them to file a lawsuit against their employer for compensatory damages. Your attorney can also help you file an OSHA complaint against an employer in an attempt to make them better their practices. If your employer has a history of OSHA complaints against them and a history of ignoring OSHA’s rulings, that can help support your claim against a negligent employer.
Call Our Massachusetts Attorneys Before You File an OSHA Complaint
Construction workers in Massachusetts are entitled to a safe working environment that abides by OSHA’s guidelines. For a free case evaluation with the Cambridge construction site accident lawyers at the Law Office of John J. Sheehan, call today at (617) 925-6407.