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Employment Law Issue, Essay Example

Pages: 6

Words: 1615

Essay

Introduction

An article obtained from Justcenewsflash.com will be used to explain employment law issues on work injuries and accident claims. This article was alerting Wisconsin employment attorneys of a man, who suffered serious burns at job in Schofield on February, 9, 2010. The accident occurred at in a business that majors in cleaning metals and specialized power painting. This accident occurred when employees were stripping paint from metal pieces by using chemical salt bath (Justice News Flash, 2010). It’s during this time that a scalding liquid splashed hence burning the employee. The liquid that splashed becomes very hot when catapulted into the air up to 900 degrees. Other than this employee who was burned, other two employees suffered from chemical/smoke inhalation but were treated and discharged. After the accident the employees claimed it was the employer’s negligence of their safety that caused the accident.

The employees claimed they were never educated concerning the risks of the chemicals they were working with. In addition, the employees claimed that the employer did not provide the right protective equipments for them when working with this scalding liquid (Justice News Flash, 2010). Other than the employee’s employment issue, this article also provides some employment issues that the employer is faced with. The accident caused serious injuries on the employee and this means the employer has to get someone else to replace him. However, there are several employees rights that the employer should ensure are followed before considering terminating this contract. This article highlights an employment law issues that most employees and employers are faced with. Using this article’s example this study will describe what happened when an employee gets an accident at work. It also describes statutes surrounding employees’ safety and health and how the employer should conduct himself when faced with such a case. This case will also bring out some policies that human resources should employ to avoid similar legal problems in the future.

This employment issue shows more than two employment statutes. The some of the statutes that this employment accident issue shows can be described using the health and safety at work act and disability discrimination act. These statutes represent the employment issues touching on the employee. Another statute that this employment law issue shows can be described using the lack of capability act and this statute touches on the employers issues concerning the case. These cases can be overseen by the Wisconsin State agency.

The health and safety at work act was developed with whole statutory regulations ranges giving the employers duties to ensure its employees are protected from such accidents when at work. This act makes it the duty of employers to protect its employees from manual handling injuries, falls from heights, working with flammable or poisonous chemicals, or other duties that can easily result into an accident (Jim, 2010). The case above shows that the employer had violated most of the statutory regulations provided in this act. The employers should have ensured the employees are well protected against this scalding liquid which catapulted in the air burning in temperatures up to 900 degrees. In addition it is clearly evident that the employees were not protected against inhaling the smoke or fumes when working with this liquid since not only was an employee burnt during the accident but others suffered from inhaling the fumes of the liquid. According to health and safety at work 1974 act section 2, the employer should ensure all steps practicable to ensuring safety, health and employees welfare are maintained (Jim, 2010). In addition, section 7 of the act makes it the employee’s responsibility to be in control of their own safety. In this cases if the employer had provided all the safety requirements for working with this liquid but the employees omitted, section 7 of the 1974 act can be used to free the employer from the accident’s liability. This can only be consider for instance if the employer proves that he had provided the employees with the right equipments and clothing when working with such a dangerous liquid and the employees chose not to put on. However this section will only be applicable in this case if the employer proves that he had created awareness to the employees concerning the dangers of working with such chemicals since the employee have openly claimed that it was the employer’s negligence that caused the accident (Melanie, 2004). The case above shows how certain employment laws such as the health and safety law are biased towards the employees since the act gives the employer much responsibility of enhancing safety of the employees.

Another statute concerning this case is described in the disability discrimination act. The burns the employee has from the liquid will most likely make him disabled. The disability discrimination act describes the rights of employees with disability particularly caused by injury at work (Jim, 2010). This act considers it a crime to discriminate directly employees who were injured at work. The act requires the employer to ensure any necessary adjustment are made in the working environment in order to enable the employee continue with their work after recovery. In addition this employment law considers it illegal for the employer to terminate the employee’s contract during the period they are off duty due to the injuries obtained during work accident. In this case the employer other than ensuring they meet the medical expenses they will be required to ensure the employee is not terminated until they have fully recovered. In case the employee has to undergo prolonged treatment especially if the accident was serious like in this case, the employer will have to pay any claims made since the insurance liability of the employer will not be able to cover such claims under the disability discrimination act.

In this case it’s clearly evident that the employer may require replacing the employee since the accident has rendered him disabled or will need a very longer treatment period before resuming work. In order to avoid more employment law issues, the employer should first understand the employees rights before considering a termination especially if the accident was as a result of the employer neglecting some sections of the health and safety act. Based on employment rights act if the employee had served in the company for over one year, he should not be dismissed unfairly. Hence the employer can use medical incapability as the grounds of terminating these employees job (Jim, 2010). The employer should however understand that incase the employee after recovery sues the company for unfair termination, most likely the company’s insurance policy will not cover the case.

Statute of limitation of accident claims

In Wisconsin where the accident occurred, statute of limitation for accident claims is three year since the date of injury. State labor law administrates these claims and also other employees’ right that the employee may feel way violated before and during the accident (Edgar Snyder & Associates, 2010). After filing for accident claims with the limitation period, the administration ensures that one receives any accident compensation and pension funds as agreed in the employment plan.

Conclusion

This kind of accident employment law issue could have been prevented by the human resource mainly by adhering to the health and safety act. Other than providing the required working equipments and clothing, the human resource could have avoided this issues accident’s intensity by ensuring that the employees fully adhere to the health and safety act and hence use this as the ground to prove the employer’s innocence. One way through which this could have been possible is through use of disciplinary policies and procedures to employees who violate the safety act. If the human resource had used this policy and procedures to its employees it would not be faced with the kind of employment issues it is currently faced with. By introducing and implementing these policies, the human resource will help the company prevent similar accident’s employment issues in the workplace in the future.

Since its clearly evident that the employees claim it’s the employer’s mistakes and negligence that caused this accident, human resource could have saved the employers name by ensuring proper investigation is carried out concerning the cause of the accident and how protected the employee was during the time of accident. This investigation should be carried out immediately after the accident since it’s during this period that the accident’s evidence is fresh in mind and not corrupted. The organization’s human resource in this case did not bother to make quick investigations and since the legal news is already with the Wisconsin attorneys the likelihood of the evidence given concerning the accident being corrupted to implicate the employer is high.

In order to protect the employer from the legal problem in addition the human resource should after the investigations ensure any employee who could have caused the accident is disciplined. Disciplining the third party involved in the accident helps the court in determining the civil liability was not as a result of the employer’s negligence as he has been implicated in this case. Another policy that the human resource could have used to prevent this legal problem is by proving the employee was to blame for the accident due to carelessness. Using these policy will ensure that employees are keen when working with industry dangerous chemicals and this will help the employer reduce the number of accidents in the work place in the future.

References

Edgar Snyder & Associates. (2010). Wisconsin statute of limitations. Pennsylvania: Edgar Snyder & associates press.

Jim, H. (2010, Feb.). Employment accident claims and employment law. Morton Fraser online publishers.

Justice News Flash. (2010, Feb.). Employee in critical condition after suffering burns in industry accident. Retrieved from http://www.justicenewsflash.com/2010/02/16/employee-critical-condition-suffering-burns-industrial-accident_201002163337.html

Melanie, A. (2004, Oct.). Unemployment compensation claims. Vol. II, No. II. Berger Singerman.com.

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