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Why is hard for OSHA to enforce safety laws?

On Behalf of | Oct 26, 2020 | Workers' Compensation

Most employees in Massachusetts have heard of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). What they don’t know is that OSHA is extremely understaffed. In fact, studies have shown that it’s physically impossible for OSHA to inspect and maintain all the businesses in the United States. As a result, many employees are vulnerable to safety hazards and unsafe working environments.

How many people are currently working for OSHA?

There are currently less than 2,000 people working for OSHA. While several hundred people might seem like a lot, these people are responsible for every other employee in the United States. Counting every industry, that’s nearly 150 million employees. That means that every OSHA employee is responsible for over 80,000 people.

Of course, it’s impossible for one person to oversee the health and safety of 80,000 employees. According to the International Labor Organization, the United States should have over 14,000 OSHA employees if they want to adequately enforce safety laws. But since OSHA is underemployed, many workers are left dealing with unsafe working environments. This makes deaths and accidents more likely, which leads to workers filing for workers’ compensation.

What should an employee do after they’ve been injured at work?

Once an employee has been injured at work, the next step is usually filing for workers’ compensation. However, receiving compensation can be challenging. In some cases, the insurance company might deny their claim. In others, their employer might retaliate or even fire them for filing for compensation.

An attorney might be able to help an employee protect their rights and receive compensation. The attorney might help their client negotiate with the insurance company if the claim is denied. If their employer retaliates against them, the attorney might help them file a wrongful termination or discrimination lawsuit and receive compensation.