On election day, a surprise upset resulted in Donald J. Trump being elected president. In anticipation of this possibility, some experts have looked at the impact that Trump’s election could have on workplace safety. Most pundits predict that there are likely to be fewer new regulations passed to protect workers, and less enforcement of the regulations already on the books.
If worker safety becomes less of a federal priority or if regulations are not enforced as thoroughly as they could be, there is a chance of more workplace injuries happening. Employees need to know what their rights are in case employers fail to follow safety rules.
They also need to know what to do in the event that a workplace accident happens and causes them to be harmed. An Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer can assist injured workers in pursuing a claim to get benefits they need for injury losses.
What Does the Election Mean for Atlanta Workplace Accident Prevention?
According to Bloomberg BNA, sources have asserted that the election of Mr. Trump means that there is likely to be “practically no rule making.” Many of the most important protections for workers come not from laws passed by congress, but from rules promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
When OSHA initiates the rule making process, there are multiple steps a potential rule has to go through before it becomes an official regulation. Once the rule making process is complete, however, employers must follow the regulation and can be fined and cited if they don’t. If OSHA makes few or no rules, there will be no advances made on important workplace protections that are needed.
President Elect Trump has also discussed the possibility of substantially reducing regulations, promising that for each new regulation which is put into place, two will be repealed. It remains to be seen if this policy actually goes into effect and is followed through. If this occurs, then it is possible some existing workplace safety laws could end up being taken off the books.
Mr. Trump has also discussed the possibility of actually eliminating federal agencies; however, Bloomberg indicates experts do not believe this will be possible since presidents cannot unilaterally get rid of departments or agencies. OSHA was created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which is a statute passed by Congress. An act of congress would this be required to get rid of OSHA or any agency like it. Congress is unlikely to take such a drastic step.
Still, the fact that there may be fewer rules and limited enforcement could potentially put workers into a more vulnerable situation, if this actually occurs. Employees need to know what their rights are and how they can get benefits if they end up being hurt on-the-job. An employee does not need to show any regulation was violated to be entitled to workers’ compensation. It is sufficient to show the injury was work-related. An attorney can help injured employees to do that.
The Atlanta workplace accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent employees or their families after a workplace injury or death. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.