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Can Unsafe Working Conditions be Reported in Texas?

Unsafe working conditions place employees at risk, but individuals are often hesitant to report hazardous conditions in the workplace. There are various reasons why individuals may not want to report a hazardous workplace issue, including fear of retribution from an employer. However, we want to cover the steps you can take to help protect yourself and your coworkers if you believe a workplace condition warrants an official response. You may consider contacting a workplace injury attorney in Houston as well to discuss all of your options in greater detail.

Reporting Unsafe Conditions

In Texas, employees are encouraged to report unsafe working conditions to the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC). The DWC operates a safety violation hotline that workers can use to anonymously report workplace hazards. This service aims to prevent workplace injuries by ensuring that such reports lead to investigations and remedial actions where necessary.

Reporting can be done via phone or through the DWC’s website, which provides a straightforward means of alerting authorities about potential dangers in the workplace without fear of employer retaliation​​​​.

Steps to Take After a Workplace Injury

After sustaining a workplace injury, we strongly encourage individuals involved to take immediate steps which can help maximize their chance of recovery and compensation for their losses, either through a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit against an alleged negligent party.

  1. Seek Immediate Medical Attention. Your health is critical. Obtaining prompt medical care not only aids in your health recovery but also gives direct documentation of your injuries, which is crucial for any insurance claims or personal injury lawsuit processes.
  2. Report the Injury to Your Employer. Texas law requires employees to report workplace injuries to their employer within 30 days from the date the injury victim knew about the injury or illness (or from when they learned of the injury or illness through a diagnosis). This reporting step is necessary for a successful workers’ compensation claim.
  3. Document Everything. Keep detailed records of your injuries, medical care, any correspondence with your employer about the injury, and the unsafe conditions that led to the incident. If you are able to get photographs or video surveillance from the scene of the incident, this will be immensely helpful. Additionally, eyewitness statements, including those from coworkers, can help.
  4. Consider Workers’ Compensation. If your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance, you ma file a claim for benefits, which can cover medical expenses, a portion of lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. However, not all employers in Texas are required to carry workers’ compensation, and even if they are, individuals may be entitled to additional compensation if the injury occurred due to unsafe working conditions.
  5. Consult with an Attorney. Workers’ compensation claims can be complex, and if negligence played a role in your injury, additional legal claims might be viable. An experienced work injury attorney can advise on the best course of action, including potential claims outside of workers’ compensation.

Recovering Compensation After a Workplace Injury

If you or someone you care about has been injured in an on-the-job incident caused by unsafe working conditions, we encourage you to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. Yes, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, but depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident, you may be entitled to even more in damages. Let a Houston personal injury attorney examine the facts of your case and help determine the next steps for your particular situation. Additionally, if your employer does not have workers’ compensation, please do not think that you will not be able to recover any damages at all. Let an attorney help you determine what comes next.

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