Workplace Safety and OSHA
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established under the United States Department of Labor in 1970. OSHA was created to help ensure safe and healthy working conditions for all Americans. From establishing and enforcing regulations to providing training and education for employers and their workers, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 covers all private sector employees and some public sector employees.
If you or someone you know has been injured due to the negligence of an employer who has failed to provide safe and healthy working conditions, there are many opportunities available to you at www.osha.gov.
What Can I Report To OSHA?
If you feel you are being unfairly put at risk at your job, there are a few different actions you can take:
• Contact OSHA. See our downloadable Texas OSHA Area Office Information Sheet.
• File a safety and health complaint
• Report a death or severe injury
• Request a free consultation
OSHA Phone Number to Report OSHA Violations
You can call 800-321-6742 (OSHA) to report the following:
• Ask safety and health questions
• Emergency situations
• File a complaint
• Safety and health violations
• Unsafe working conditions
How To File an OSHA Complaint
When you file an OSHA complaint, you are requesting an OSHA inspector to investigate your workplace with the goal of determining if there is a serious hazard or OSHA standard your employer has failed to maintain. This does not mean you have to prove your employer has violated any regulations, just that you feel negligence is taking place. According to the OSHA website, a complaint “should be filed as soon as possible after noticing the hazard or lack of compliance because OSHA citations may only be issued for violations that currently exist or existed in the past 6 months.” It is up to OSHA whether they decide to investigate.
Time Limits for Reporting OSHA Violations vs Pursuing Civil Actions
OSHA will generally only investigate violation claims and consider issuing a citation if they are notified within 6 months of the violation. If you are injured by a negligent employer and fail to report it within the 6 month time period required for worker’s compensation claims, you may still be able to file a work injury claim. In the State of Texas, the statute of limitations on personal injury claims is generally two years from the date that the cause of action occurs. While there are exceptions to this rule, the 6-month time period allotted by OSHA only applies to one’s ability to report a specific violation and have their employer cited.
For more information on the statue of limitations for a work injury outside of Texas, check out our webpage on personal injury statute of limitations in the 50 states.
Workplace Hazards Regulated by OSHA
Unfortunately, there have been many instances of workplace hazards that signify the need for work safety improvements. OSHA will investigate and issue citations to negligent employers who fail to provide things like adequate fall protection or forklift safety.
Injuries in the workplace are complex for a variety reasons. Whether it is not being able to continue working or not being able to pay for your medical expenses, the best way to ensure you are fully protected is to speak to a work injury attorney as soon as possible. At Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., we provide free case evaluations for injured workers. If you or someone you love has been injured due to the negligence of an employer, call 800-298-0111 today to speak with one of our work injury attorneys.
OSHA Area Office Phone Numbers
If you are injured in a specific region of Texas and want to speak to someone at an OSHA area office, the Texas OSHA area office numbers are as follows:
• Austin: (512) 374-0271
• Corpus Christi: (361) 888-3420
• Dallas: (972) 952-1330
• El Paso: (915) 534-6251
• Fort Worth: (817) 428-2470
• North Houston: (936) 760-3800
• South Houston: (281) 286-0583
• Lubbock: (806) 472-7681
• San Antonio: (210) 472-5040
Houston Work Injury Lawyers
Because employers are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in Texas, work injuries can be difficult to navigate. When you have been injured due to a negligent employer, do not handle your claim alone. Call 800-298-0111 for a free consultation with a work injury lawyer or visit our work accidents page for more information. At Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., we have been serving injured workers in the greater Houston area since 1979. Contact us today to learn more about your rights.
Paul Cannon has practiced personal injury trial law since 1995. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law (2005). He has earned recognition as a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters in 2017 & 2018, and as a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers Association in 2017. He is a Shareholder, trial lawyer and online marketing manager at Simmons and Fletcher, P.C. His legal writings have been published by the Texas Bar Journal, Business.com, Lawyer.com HG Legal Resources, Lawfirms.com, and others. He has been asked to give education talks and media interviews on dog bite law.