All employers are required to provide a safe workplace for their employees. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets and enforces workplace safety standards, and all employers are required to comply with OSHA’s standards. OSHA monitors working conditions and issues citations and penalties to employers that fail to comply with its standards in Georgia and throughout the country.
Although the existence of an OSHA citation or penalty will not necessarily have an impact on a Georgia workers’ compensation claim, it may have an impact in some circumstances. For example, in some states, a worker may actually be entitled to increased benefits if an employer is issued an OSHA citation. Evidence of a willful OSHA violation may also be used to opt out of workers’ compensation or to bring a claim against another party, allowing an injured worker to potentially receive greater benefits.
That being said, an employee who is injured at work can still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of whether the employer is issued or accepts an OSHA citation. As the following discussion illustrates, employers are required to be familiar with OSHA regulations, and ignorance of the agency’s standards is not a valid defense for employers attempting to contest penalties.