State and federal laws require employers to provide their employees with a safe place to work. If an employer does not do so, then employees may file a report with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employees may also refuse to work in some cases.
Interstate commerce employers come under OSHA when it comes to establishing safety standards and enforcing the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The safety agency's job is to protect employees from:
- Recognized hazards that can result in someone's death or serious injuries
- Illnesses due to unsafe health conditions
- One-time injuries
Employers are required to:
- Provide a safe workplace for employees
- Keep records of exposure to hazardous materials, injuries and deaths
- Keep a job safety notice by OSHA posted in the workplace
- Provide training in safety
Safety hazards can place an employees life in immediate danger. When this occurs, employees should notify OSHA. If the risk of imminent danger is not present, then employees need to let their employer know by submitting a report in writing. Should the employer not correct the hazard, then a report should be filed with OSHA.
Employers are not allowed to retaliate against employees that report safety hazards. This means that a worker's pay may not be reduced, nor can the worker be fired or demoted.
If you have been injured while on the job, you may have a right to seek workers' compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, permanent and temporary disability and more. An experienced attorney can help you if your workers' compensation claim is denied. An appeal can be filed in an attempt to secure the benefits you deserve.
Source: FindLaw, "Protecting yourself from unsafe working conditions," accessed July 14, 2017