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Can a workers' compensation attorney offer help before an injury?

Routine inspections by officials from the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration may help enforce workplace safety standards. However, employers can take a proactive approach to avoiding potential hazards on their sites through a service called the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program, or SHARP.

The service offers a potential one-year exemption from such surprise visits from OSHA visits. To qualify, employers must utilize free on-site consultations administered by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

A proactive approach to workplace safety goes hand in hand with the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act. Pursuant to that law, employers offer insurance benefits to workers who suffer on-the-job injuries. In exchange, an employer typically is immune from a civil lawsuit. However, the law provides exceptions, as in the case where a workplace accident was the result of an intentional act. 

It may take a lawyer who focuses on personal injury and workers’ compensation law to interpret where extreme negligence crosses the line into intentional acts. However, an employer who fails to remedy safety hazards pointed out after onsite consultations or surprise OSHA visits may be more susceptible to such liability. 

Workers who are concerned about potential safety violations in their workplace might benefit from a consultation with a lawyer. Of course, accidents may occasionally happen on the job, even when an employer has been in compliance with safety regulations. Yet even in that scenario, an injured employee can benefit from legal representation to ensure that he or she gets a fair workers’ compensation package.

Source: New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, “Occupational Safety & Health On-Site Consultation Program,” copyright 2015, State of New Jersey

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