Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn

You’ve suffered an injury on the job, and now you are facing a long, stressful recovery period. You file for workers’ compensation benefits, hoping you will be able to pay your bills. In retaliation, your employer claims you violated a safety rule, causing your own accident. They claim they are not liable. 

It’s a scary situation. 

You need to understand your rights and how to successfully counter their accusations. The best way to do that is to consult a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney.

Understanding Workplace Safety Regulations

Safety regulations are important to ensure the safety of everyone on a worksite. You should not take violations lightly, as they directly impact your employment rights. In Georgia, OSHA [the Occupational Safety and Health Administration] operates several offices where safety violations may be reported. 

However, there is room for argument when deciding whether safety rules were violated. The Georgia Supreme Court decided in 2017 that an intentional safety violation may only bar monetary recovery in workers’ compensation cases where there was a wanton disregard for safety, and the employee knew that serious injury would likely result.

Steps to Take if Accused of Violating Safety Rules

There are ways to respond effectively if you are accused of a safety rule violation. It’s very important to document what happened. Here are three important considerations:

  • Did your employer enforce the rule you supposedly violated?
  • Was the rule easily understandable?
  • Were you aware that a serious injury could result if you violated the rule?

If “yes” is the answer to any of these questions, you should consider your options. Keep in mind that these are all subjective questions. Given that fact, an attorney is the best judge of how to fight back.

If you answered “no” to the first question, it may be a factor in your favor. If the employer didn’t enforce a safety rule and other workers confirm that, you may have an effective argument against the employer’s accusations. 

Consequences of Safety Rule Violation Charges

Consider the long-term results of breaking safety rules. If workers’ compensation is denied due to violating a safety rule, it will have a definite impact on your job security, pay, and future career opportunities. You may be denied benefits and find yourself in a disastrous financial situation. In professions where OSHA heavily regulates your job site – for instance, the construction industry or heavy manufacturing – having the reputation of a worker who doesn’t follow safety rules may prevent you from getting other jobs in the future. All of those consequences will be very stressful and affect your mental health.

Get Sound Advice From the Experts

These are just a few reasons to consult a workers’ compensation lawyer. The attorney at Parsons Law Group can explain how legal representation can protect your rights and career. Contact us today for a consultation with one of our experienced Georgia Workers’ compensation attorneys.