How To Report a Company for Unsafe Working Conditions in Pennsylvania

Your employer in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, has a moral and legal duty to provide reasonably safe working conditions. These conditions should include a workspace without hidden hazards. You should also have access to safety equipment. And you and your coworkers should have adequate training to work safely.

When a workplace accident happens, you could suffer temporary or permanent disabilities that prevent you from going back to work. You might even need a caretaker to help you perform daily tasks. Fortunately, Pennsylvania law gives you options for recovering compensation for on-the-job injuries.

Contact our law office at (717) 231-1640 for a free consultation with an experienced attorney.

How Marzzacco Niven & Associates Can Help After a Workplace Accident in Harrisburg

How Marzzacco Niven & Associates Can Help After a Workplace Accident in Harrisburg

With over 120 years of combined experience, Marzzacco Niven & Associates can help you after a job injury. Our Harrisburg workplace accident attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for our injured clients.

Some case outcomes we’ve obtained for our clients include:

  • $1 million settlement for a truck driver injured in an accident
  • $300,000 workers’ comp settlement for a worker who lost hand function
  • $255,928 workers’ comp settlement for a horse trainer with permanent injuries

We can help after a workplace accident by:

  • Walking you through your legal options and determining your best course of action
  • Investigating the nature of your extent to fully evaluate your claim
  • Handling the negotiations, procedures, and communications related to your case
  • Filing a lawsuit for additional compensation, if necessary and applicable

Workplace accidents can result from dangerous working conditions, defective equipment, and poorly trained coworkers – just to name a few potential causes. 

To discuss the compensation you can receive for these and other workplace accidents in Harrisburg, PA, contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates for a free consultation.

Laws Pertaining to Unsafe Working Conditions in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has different workplace standards for different types of employers. Private employers must comply with federal workplace laws. This means that federal inspectors from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspect workplaces and enforce federal workplace standards.

OSHA does not cover public sector employers, including city, county, and state agencies. Instead, these employers must comply with Pennsylvania’s General Safety Law. Pennsylvania also has safety standards for certain workplaces that contain hazards to workers and the public, such as asbestos and boiler equipment.

OSHA releases enforcement numbers based on violations found during its workplace inspections. These inspections include:

  • Routine inspections
  • Workplace accident inspections
  • Inspections after receiving a worker complaint about unsafe conditions

Across the nation, OSHA conducts over 20,000 inspections every year, including 4,000 to 5,000 inspections in response to worker complaints. In 2022, OSHA penalized 58 Pennsylvania businesses at least $40,000 for workplace safety violations found during these inspections. 

Overview of How To Report a Company for Unsafe Working Conditions in Pennsylvania

Workers in Pennsylvania are covered by different agencies, depending on their employers. Public sector employees fall under Pennsylvania’s General Safety Law and must report any workplace safety issues to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry.

Private sector employees generally fall under the purview of OSHA. These employees must report unsafe working conditions to their local OSHA field office. OSHA also protects workers from retaliation for reporting safety violations. You can file a whistleblower complaint with the local OSHA field office if your employer fired you for reporting unsafe conditions.

Public Sector Complaints

Examples of public sector employers that must follow the General Safety Law include:

  • Public schools
  • Police agencies
  • Government road crews
  • Public transportation operators
  • City, county, or state maintenance facilities

The General Safety Law requires public sector employers to provide workplaces with “reasonable and adequate protection for the life, limb, health, safety, and morals of all persons employed therein.” The law was written broadly to cover as many unsafe working conditions as possible. 

Examples of reportable issues include:

  • Hazardous chemicals
  • Poor lighting, heating, or cooling
  • Dust and other airborne contaminants
  • Unsafe stairs or other falling hazards
  • Dangerous, broken, or unguarded machinery
  • Cluttered workspaces and other tripping hazards

To file a complaint, you must fill out a complaint form. After you file the complaint form with the state’s Department of Labor and Industry, the state will investigate the complaint. The investigation could include interviews with the workers and the employer, as well as an on-site inspection.

If the employer violated the General Safety Law, the department can order corrections or even bring a criminal prosecution.

Private Sector Complaints

OSHA complaints cover much broader grounds than General Safety Law complaints. Under OSHA, you can report:

  • Failure to provide safety equipment
  • Lack of safety and health training
  • Unsafe machines and equipment
  • Hazardous environments
  • Dangerous practices
  • Toxic chemicals

When a safety hazard poses an imminent threat to your life, OSHA also gives you the right to refuse to work.

You can file an OSHA complaint online. You can also fill out a form and file it with the OSHA field office that covers the location of your employer. After it receives your complaint, OSHA will investigate and determine whether to fine your employer and require action to correct the unsafe conditions.

Impact of a Complaint

A complaint helps you document the conditions that led to a workplace accident. This documentation could help you in a workers’ compensation or third-party lawsuit for your injuries.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Harrisburg Workplace Accident Lawyers

Unsafe working conditions can cause injuries that leave you unable to work or care for yourself. To discuss the compensation you can seek for workplace injuries resulting from unsafe conditions, contact Marzzacco Niven & Associates for a free consultation with a workers’ comp attorney in Harrisburg.