The Occupational Health and Safety Administration recently announced that it cited a Pennsylvania amusement park for failure to properly protect its employees from bodily harm related to heat exposure. The citation includes a financial penalty and represents the conclusion of an investigation by the federal agency that dates back more than six months, when OSHA purportedly fielded a complaint in association with a well-reported incident at the park involving a teenage worker who collapsed on account of the heat, suffering burns and other injuries.
Specifically, the company owning the park was cited because it did not address, either in its policies or its training procedures, OSHA’s concern that employees lacked the preemptive and responsive means for protection when they worked outdoors, where workers may be exposed to temperatures high enough to cause workers serious or even fatal harm. For this reason, OSHA categorized the violation as serious, thereby resulting in a maximum penalty of $7,000.
While OSHA advocates for the safety of workers collectively, the individual workers who do actually suffer significant harm at the workplace or as a direct result of their employer’s negligence may possess other, more fit options for recourse. In practice, many injured employees file a workers’ compensation claim, a personal injury lawsuit or both.
In any event, the legal counsel of a lawyer often proves to be essential for either option. The attorney may help injured workers build a convincing case for injury-related compensation and then advocate it during negotiations with the employer’s representatives or in court. On their own, the vast majority of injured workers lack the legal knowledge and wherewithal to continue pursuing restitution for their injury-related medical bills and lost wages if they encounter resistance to their efforts at the start.
Source: lehighvalleylive.com, “Dorney Park workers exposed to heat hazards; teen’s collapse leads to citation, OSHA reports“, Precious Petty, December 29, 2014