Fear of North Carolina Work Accident Led to Firing

A trucking company based out of Salisbury has been instructed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to reinstate a recently-terminated employee’s position with the company. The commercial printing company, Rowan Business Forms, allegedly fired the truck driver after he spoke out about some safety concerns that he had with the brakes on his company-owned truck.
Employees should be provided with safe working conditions, regardless of their work title. If you feel that your safety is in jeopardy on the job and you are at unnecessary risks for a work-related accident in North Carolina, you’re asked to speak up. Safety should be a top priority of employers nationwide.

Under the current law, employees may not be retaliated against for raising safety concerns. That violates OSHA’s whistleblower provisions of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) and 20 other statutes protecting employees who report violations. These violations may consist of dangers involving various securities, consumer and workplace products, or laws regulating safety in the fields of health care, maritime, rail, environment, pipeline, nuclear power, airline and commercial motor vehicles. Our Salisbury workers compensation attorneys are here to help you to fight for your safety on the job throughout North and South Carolina. If you feel that you have been unfairly treated by an employer, recruit an experienced attorney to fight for you.

After OSHA conducted an investigation through its Whistleblower Protection Program, officials found that the firing of the truck driver was in fact in violation of federal standards. As a result, Rowan Business Forms has been ordered to pay the worker roughly $85,000 in compensatory and punitive damages, back wages and interest. No employer is allowed to terminate an employee because he or she was vocal about concerns for workplace safety. Employees are provided with rights and they must be protected throughout the nation.

An OSHA spokeswoman in Atlanta said the agency takes retaliation complaints extremely seriously, especially when the employee was trying to bring to light safety concerns.

Here’s how it happened: Back in August 2009, the truck driver told his supervisor about the brake fluid leakage on the company’s dump truck. He told the supervisor that the brake pedal could be pushed all the way to the floor and that he almost slammed into a car in front of him because of that problem. He said he feared for his safety. The manager of the company said that they would have the leak fixed before the driver’s next dump, but the repair was never completed. Then in October, when the truck was scheduled for its next delivery, the employee refused to drive it because he saw that the leak was never fixed. The very next day, the truck driver was fired.

Under current provisions, employers are not allowed to retaliate against workers who speak up about the concerns that they have about their safety on the job.

If you, someone you work with or someone you love has been injured in an accident on the job of needs to file a workers compensation claim in North Carolina, contact the Carolina injury attorneys at the Lee Law Offices today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:

Winter Weather Car Accidents a Work-Injury Risk in Asheville, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, January 9, 2012

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