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Can I Sue My Employer for Unsafe Working Conditions in Texas?

Texas workers have the right to a safe and healthy work environment. When employers fail to provide these conditions, injured workers may be entitled to workers’ compensation. In some cases, they may even have grounds to sue their employer.

If you’ve been hurt on the job due to unsafe working conditions, it’s essential to consult an experienced workplace injury lawyer to understand your legal rights under state and federal employment laws. In this article, we’ll discuss what counts as unsafe working conditions and how our experienced workplace injury attorneys can help you navigate the complexities of pursuing compensation from negligent employers.

Contact us today to learn more in a free consultation. También ofrecemos servicios en español.

Understand Your Legal Rights Under Texas Employment Law

Under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers throughout the country are required to provide workplaces free from hazards that could harm their employees. Workers can legally refuse to perform work in an unsafe environment. If you believe your workplace is unsafe, you should report the issue to your employer. You can also file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Further, Texas law protects workers under the Texas Labor Code, which outlines safety requirements for various industries. If your employer violates these safety regulations and you are injured as a result, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. Our legal team can help you explore your options.

Can I Be Fired for Reporting My Employer for Unsafe Working Conditions?

No, it is illegal for your employer to fire, demote, transfer, or retaliate against you for reporting unsafe working conditions. OSHA’s Whistleblower Protection Program prohibits companies from terminating employees who report unsafe conditions at their workplace. If your employer retaliates against you for filing a complaint or exercising your legal rights, you may have a separate claim against your employer for retaliation. If they fire you, you may have grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit.

What Constitutes Unsafe Working Conditions in Texas?

Unsafe working conditions are those that put employees at an unreasonable risk of harm, preventing them from performing their job duties safely. These conditions vary widely depending on the industry and workplace. Below are some of the most common examples workers should be aware of:

Examples of Unsafe Working Conditions

  • Exposure to hazardous materials or chemicals without proper protection, such as asbestos, lead, pesticides, or other toxic substances.
  • Lack of necessary safety equipment or improperly maintained equipment, including broken or missing machine guards, faulty electrical wiring, or unstable scaffolding.
  • Inadequate safety training for employees on handling hazardous materials, operating equipment, and following emergency protocols.
  • Poor housekeeping and cluttered workspaces can lead to slips, trips, and falls, which are among the most common workplace accidents.
  • Inadequate ventilation or temperature control in industries where workers are exposed to extreme temperatures or harmful fumes, dust, or other airborne contaminants.
  • Insufficient lighting or visibility in work areas that make it difficult for employees to see potential hazards, increasing the risk of accidents or injuries.
  • Excessive noise can cause hearing impairment when exposure is prolonged and noise levels exceed safe thresholds.
  • Workplace violence and harassment, which employers are responsible for preventing through well-developed policies and addressing through prompt investigation of reports.
  • Industry-specific hazards, such as exposure to infectious diseases in health care settings or hazards related to working at heights or with heavy machinery in construction.

If you believe your workplace has unsafe conditions, you should report your concerns to your employer or supervisor. If your employer fails to address the issue, you may need to file a complaint with the appropriate authorities or seek legal guidance from an experienced workplace injury attorney.

Remember, every worker has the right to a safe and healthy work environment. If you have been injured due to unsafe working conditions, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

The legal system is difficult to navigate, especially while recovering from a workplace injury. Don’t hesitate to seek help from our skilled workplace injury attorneys. We can protect your rights and help you navigate the legal process.

Legal Recourse for Unsafe Working Conditions in Texas

If you have been injured due to unsafe working conditions, you may have a few legal options available to seek compensation for your losses. If your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, they are normally shielded from personal injury lawsuits. Instead, injured workers must file a claim with the employer’s insurer to receive compensation for medical treatment costs, lost wages, and disability.

What If My Employer Doesn't Have Workers' Compensation Insurance?

It’s important to note that Texas does not strictly require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If an employer opts out, its employees can file personal injury lawsuits seeking compensation for injuries caused by the employer’s negligence.

This requires demonstrating that your employer did not adequately train employees, did not maintain equipment properly, or otherwise failed to provide a safe work environment. Evidence such as witness statements, photographs of the unsafe conditions, and medical records can support your claim.

What Is the Difference Between OSHA and Workers' Compensation?

OSHA is a federal agency responsible for setting and enforcing workplace safety standards to prevent work-related injuries and illnesses. One of its primary functions is to uphold the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA aims to create a safe and healthy work environment through regulations, inspections, and training.

Workers’ compensation is a state-regulated insurance system that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill due to their jobs. It is a no-fault system that provides benefits to injured workers in exchange for shielding covered employers from personal injury liability. Unlike OSHA’s focus on prevention, workers’ compensation operates after an incident has occurred, offering medical care, wage replacement, and other benefits to affected employees.

How Shamieh Law Can Help You After a Workplace Injury

If you have been injured due to unsafe working conditions in Austin or Dallas, it’s crucial to seek the help of an experienced workplace injury attorney. Our top-tier legal team at Shamieh Law has extensive experience handling cases involving workplace accidents and can help you understand your full legal rights and options for seeking compensation for your injuries and losses.

Our attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case, gather evidence to support your claim, and fight to hold your employer accountable. We can help you navigate the complex legal process of filing a workers’ compensation claim or a lawsuit against your employer.

Don’t let unsafe working conditions go unchallenged. You can count on us to defend your right to full and fair compensation. For a free case review with an experienced Texas workplace injury lawyer, contact us today online or by calling (469) 813-7332. We are here to help.

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