No matter what profession you choose or the environment in which you work, you have the right to a safe workplace. Over a long enough period of time with a single employer, most people experience or witness unsafe work conditions of one form or another. In most cases, an employer addresses them fairly and quickly to keep employees safe.
However, an employer may not face full liability for any injuries suffered by employees from unsafe conditions that the employer can do nothing to prevent or is unaware that exists. If you see a safety hazard in your workplace, you should report it immediately to your superior This gives the employer the opportunity to address it properly.
Unfortunately, some employers or superiors do not value safety appropriately, or may discount the seriousness of the issue. if you face any pushback or negative consequences because of reporting a safety concern, you may want to consult with an experienced attorney in order to understand your rights and options moving forward.
In some cases, especially if you suffer an injury because of an unsafe work condition you previously reported, you may have grounds for some legal actions. Professional legal guidance can help you assess the circumstances through the eyes of the law. Then, you can choose which strategies to employ to pursue a just resolution.
What if my employer retaliates against me?
After a workplace injury, you probably have grounds to file a workers’ compensation claim. But don’t just blindly trust your employer or their insurer to fairly address your injury. Insurers are out to make a profit, just as businesses are, and will attempt to settle claims for the lowest amount possible. You may consult with legal counsel to help you navigate the workers’ compensation process so that you can focus on your recovery.
If an employer punishes you in some way for reporting a safety issue or attempts to deny or under-settle your injury claim, the plot thickens. In many cases, employers may take a course of action like this because they believe you won’t stand up for yourself.
This is precisely why it is so important to fight back against this sort of tactic. When you fight for your own fair treatment, you demonstrate to an employer that they are not above the law.
Should the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigate your claim of retaliation and find it to be credible, the employer faces serious penalties. Likewise, you may also reap some benefits. Be sure to get all the legal help you need to pursue a just resolution to your workplace safety conflict.