When you go to work, you expect that your employer will provide a safe working environment free from serious hazards. But this does not always occur, and many employees sustain serious injuries on the job.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the General Duty Clause requires employers to provide a workplace environment that does not have any recognizable hazards likely to cause serious injuries or death. In return, employees must comply with all health and safety rules and regulations as they apply to their job.
To receive a violation under the General Duty Clause, proof must exist that an employer exposed his or her employees to a hazard and that a recognizable hazard existed. The hazard must also be likely to cause serious physical harm or death and there must have been an economically viable and feasible way for the employer to fix the hazard.
Examples of violations
There are many ways an employer can violate the terms of the General Duty Clause. For example, if your employer does not inspect and maintain onsite boilers, stores incompatible chemicals together or does not provide high-visibility clothing to employees working near traffic, a violation of this clause may be present.
If your employer violates the terms of the General Duty Clause and you sustain a serious injury at work, you may become unable to fully return to your normal duties and your responsibilities at home. When this occurs, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to help with the cost of medical care and lost wages.