Delaware County (Delco) Attorney for Deaths Caused by Coronavirus Exposure
As companies start opening up across the country, including in Delaware County, many workers are concerned about their safety and health. Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains a deadly and infectious threat. Employers who fail to implement steps to protect their employees might be liable for any harm suffered or any deaths caused by coronavirus exposure.
Delco employers have a duty to provide their employees with a safe working environment; this is especially important during the current pandemic. Unfortunately, the coronavirus is raising many legal issues and questions related to employer accountability and the extent of that duty. If you have lost a loved one due to COVID-19 contracted in the workplace, call our Delaware County (Delco) attorney for deaths caused by coronavirus exposure. Our dedicated attorneys have the knowledge and experience to provide you with the legal representation you require. Call the Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 709-6940 for a free, confidential consultation to discuss your legal options.
Delaware County Employers and OSHA Requirements During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is the government agency tasked with ensuring the safety and well-being of workers throughout the country. OSHA accomplishes this by setting national safety standards and training employers and employees. However, the coronavirus has ushered in an unprecedented danger to workers’ health. To address the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, OSHA has issued guidelines and recommendations for Delaware County employers to follow.
Unfortunately, the current recommendations do not carry the full enforceability and weight of the law used with previous standards. This is because of the short period of time in which the recommendations and guidelines were drafted and published. However, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) remains in full effect. Known as the “General Duty Clause,” one particular part of the OSH Act serves as a catch-all provision for when OSHA’s standards fail to address an issue explicitly or are ambiguous.
The General Duty Clause and Delco Employee Safety Concerning Coronavirus Exposure
OSHA 29 U.S.C. Section 654, 5(a) specifically requires employers to provide their workers with an environment that is free from any recognized or known hazard that is likely to cause death or severe physical harm. While the OSH Act does not outline exactly what an employer should do, the recommendations issued by OSHA provide a framework to determine if a company’s conduct was sufficient to address the threat of coronavirus exposure.
The General Duty Clause of the OSH Act defines the duty an employer has but not what steps must be taken to comply with that duty. However, the recommendations issued by OSHA give our Delaware County coronavirus death attorneys a way to analyze the steps a company implemented to protect its workers. If you lost a loved one due to COVID-19 contracted on the job in Delaware County, we can thoroughly examine what precautions were in place. If their employer failed to enact any of the safety measures listed below, it could constitute a violation of the General Duty Clause.
- Information is essential to ensure employees’ safety. Employers should provide their employees with training regarding the spread, risk of infection, and symptoms of COVID-19.
- Employees are often sick, though not necessarily with the coronavirus. Because of the risk of infection, companies should implement protocols to assess the health of their employees and give workers showing symptoms of the coronavirus the opportunity to self-quarantine.
- Social distancing has become part of the “new normal.” It is vital that workers have the ability to perform their job while at a safe distance from their coworkers. In situations where that is not possible, precautions should be taken, such as installing plastic screens between workstations.
- OSHA has been adamant about the importance of personal hygiene. Employers should ensure that workers have access to adequate and fully stocked wash stations or bathrooms. Additionally, hand sanitizers should be placed strategically throughout the workspace.
- Personal protection equipment (PPE) is vital for protecting yourself and others. Employees should be provided with face masks, gloves, and any other equipment that could mitigate the spread of the virus.
Employer Liability for Deaths Caused by Coronavirus Exposure in Delco, PA
Liability law concerning deaths related to COVID-19 contracted in the workplace in Delco is still unclear. However, the General Duty Clause and OSHA’s recommendations and guidelines provide a framework to establish negligence on the part of a Delaware County employer who purposefully fails to implement any precautionary measures.
COVID-19 is a recognized danger in the workplace, and there are feasible steps a company can take to mitigate the threat of coronavirus exposure. Recent wrongful death litigation has focused primarily on an employer’s “willful and wanton” conduct in failing to adhere to OSHA guidelines, thereby endangering their employees. The dedicated Delco coronavirus exposure death attorneys and staff at the Reiff Law Firm are well-versed in the existing statutes and case law regarding employer liability, and we have been carefully monitoring legal developments related to deaths caused by coronavirus exposure.
Call Our Delaware County Attorney for Deaths Caused by Coronavirus Exposure for a Free Consultation
The coronavirus has adversely affected nearly all aspects of life in Delaware County and throughout the country. Because of pre-existing medical conditions, advanced age, or concern for family members and loved ones, many people have taken precautions during their day-to-day lives. However, those same precautionary measures may not have been applied in their place of employment. If you lost a loved one because their employer failed to implement proper safety measures, contact our Delaware County (Delco) attorney for deaths caused by coronavirus exposure. Contact the Reiff Law Firm today at (215) 709-6940 to schedule a free and private consultation.