The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA,) exists to create guidelines for safe and healthy working environments. Generally, OSHA is associated with traditionally dangerous professions like construction work or working around hazardous materials. However, OSHA covers all workspaces, like office buildings or small businesses, which are not necessarily seen as dangerous places. One of the things that OSHA requires is that accidents and injuries on the job be reported to them. This includes accidents that involve work vehicles injuring employees or passersby.
In Maryland, you must report an accident involving any vehicle used for work. This includes not just obvious things like dump trucks, excavators, and forklifts but also delivery vehicles and company vehicles used to get employees from one place to another. If a vehicle that gets in an accident has any relation to your work, the accident should be reported to OHSA.
For a free case analysis, call our Maryland work injury lawyers from Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.
What Vehicle Accidents Require OSHA Reporting in Maryland?
Many different vehicles used for work are covered by OSHA guidelines and must be reported in Maryland. While the initial thoughts that come to mind when hearing the term “OSHA vehicle accident” will likely turn to vehicles used for heavy-duty construction equipment, the reality is that virtually any accident involving a vehicle used for work purposes will need to be reported to OSHA. Below, our Maryland personal injury lawyers have compiled some of the vehicles that need to be reported to OSHA in connection with a workplace injury.
Commercial trucks are large, heavy vehicles that can cause a lot of damage. Since pretty much every semi truck, 18-wheeler, or other big-rig vehicle is going to be used for commercial purposes ranging from transportation to construction, you will have to report accidents involving these vehicles to OSHA.
Heavy Construction Vehicles
By “heavy construction vehicles,” we mean specialty equipment you would expect to find at a construction site. This would include tracked excavators, bulldozers, dump trucks, and other similar vehicles. If Tonka made a toy version of it, it probably falls into this category. These vehicles are capable of causing a great deal of damage and serious injuries if not properly handled. Accordingly, accidents involving them need to be reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Forklifts may be thought of as construction vehicles by some, but the reality is that forklifts are used in many applications besides construction. For example, warehouses and large stores use them to get inventory from one place to another in an efficient manner. Additionally, it is well known that driving a forklift requires certain certifications to make sure that the driver is competent. If a forklift accident happens because of a non-certified or negligent driver – or for any other reason – it needs to be reported to OSHA.
Job or Trade Specific Vehicles
Accidents involving vehicles specific to a particular job or trade also need to be reported to OSHA. This would include accidents involving vehicles like pickup trucks or vehicles with a mechanical cherry-picker.
“Company vehicle” is a somewhat nebulous term. It generally refers to vehicles that are emblazoned with company logos that are used for work purposes rather than a car your business might pay for for your personal use. A classic example of what can be considered a company vehicle is a pizza delivery van. Although a van is not in and of itself, a vehicle made exclusively for commercial purposes, the fact that it belongs to a pizza company and is being used to deliver pizza makes it a workplace vehicle. Similarly, accidents involving a vehicle with a plumbing company, electric company, or similar service plastered on the side of it will be considered a company vehicle for the same reasons. Therefore, any accidents involving those kinds of vehicles need to be reported to OSHA.
Also included in the category of company vehicles are vehicles used to transport workers from one place to another. For example, if a bus takes you from where you live to your job and that bus is owned by your employer, any accident involving that vehicle needs to be reported to OSHA.
Are There Any Accidents that Do Not Need to be Reported to OSHA in Maryland?
While a very large number of vehicle accidents require OSHA reporting in Maryland, not all of them do. Some vehicles that are somewhat related to work do not need to have accidents using them reported. For example, if you take your own car to commute to your job, you do not need to report an accident involving that car to OSHA. Similarly, if you take your car from your job out to a restaurant for lunch, you would not usually need to report an accident during that time to OSHA.
However, even accidents using vehicles that would not require reporting under most circumstances can still need to be reported to OSHA in some cases. For example, suppose instead of going to lunch yourself, you are taking a client out to a nice restaurant for a working lunch to negotiate a deal. On the way there, your car gets hit. That accident would need to be reported to OSHA because your vehicle is essentially being used as a company vehicle to transport someone to a location to do work-related things.
What Should I Do After Reporting a Vehicle Accident to OSHA?
After you report the accident to OSHA, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. They can help you with a lawsuit or workers’ compensation claim as applicable to your case.
Talk with Our Maryland Work Injury Attorneys Today
Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s Baltimore work injury lawyers are ready to take your calls and discuss your case at (410) 694-7291.