Despite the fact that most employees and employers do their part in preventing unsafe working conditions, these still exist in many industries. Subsequently, it’s not out of the question that an accident could cause serious injury or even death.
As an employee, here’s something you need to know: There are both state and federal laws stating that employers are required to provide workers with a safe environment.
If you come across an unsafe working condition, no matter what type, you have the right to report the violation to your employer. If that doesn’t work, you may want to take things to the next level by reporting the problem to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
What about immediate danger?
It’s good to know that you can bring OSHA into the mix if need be, but this won’t do you much good when it comes to immediate danger. You have the right to refuse to do your job if:
- You have reason to believe that the condition poses an immediate risk of injury or death
- Your employer refuses to address the condition and find a safe solution
- The immediacy of the problem does not allow you time to report it to OSHA or another agency
- You do not have an alternative, such as another way to do your work to avoid the hazard
Unfortunately, unsafe working conditions have the potential to cause injury or death.
If you suffer a workplace injury, regardless of the cause, you should do the following:
- Receive immediate medical attention
- Report the incident to your supervisor and/or the HR department
- Make note of what happened
Once you do these things, you can then learn more about your legal rights. This will typically lead you to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
If your initial claim is denied, carefully read through your denial letter to get a better idea of why. This will give you a clear path of how to file an appeal with the hope of having the original decision overturned.