Working in an office setting can be a safe and healthy experience. However, there are many hazards work that employees face in their jobs. This post will provide three steps if your company isn’t following OSHA guidelines.
1. Speak with a Worker’s Comp Attorney
You are not legally required to report dangerous conditions and health issues at work. However, a workers’ compensation attorney can help you decide if legal action is worth the risk and expense should something happen at work.
2. Write a Letter to the OSHA Inspector
You can request that an OSHA inspector visit your workplace. You can list the health and safety concerns you face as an employee from your employer in your letter and recommend solutions for them to consider (such as providing additional safety equipment or training). If a workplace inspection is conducted, an accident may be less likely, even if no violation is found.
3. Document Injuries at Work
If something happens at work that causes injury, keep a record of it. By keeping detailed descriptions of the incident, you will be able to help an injured worker or their family pursue legal action for damages. In addition, this record-keeping can be essential for determining the source of a worker’s injury, whether it occurred in the workplace or at home.
What are the Main Responsibilities Employers Have Under OSHA?
1. Provide a Safe and Healthy Workplace
The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to keep the workplace safe from various hazards. Hazards may include asbestos, toxic fumes, noise, and new technology.
2. Provide Workers with Required Training and Information about the Workplace
OSHA requires training for specific jobs to ensure worker safety and health. Employers must also provide employees with information about their rights in several situations, including workers’ compensation issues and filing a complaint with OSHA.
3. Keep Records on Workplace Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities
Employers must record information about all workplace injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Furthermore, they must keep this information available to workers and their families to protect themselves legally.
4. Create and Follow Safety Standards
Employers must create safety standards that employers must follow and keep accurate records of violations in various areas, including monitoring workplaces for hazards.
What Are the Rights Workers Have Under OSHA?
1. Protection from Employer Retaliation
Employees can participate in a legal complaint investigation if they believe their employer violated OSHA rules or their work conditions caused them an injury or illness at work. However, an employer is prohibited from retaliating against workers who file a complaint with OSHA or participate in an investigation.
2. Hold Your Employer Accountable for Safety and Health Violations
Employers who intentionally violate workplace safety and health rules or regulations may be subject to civil fines and criminal penalties, depending on the seriousness of the violations. In addition, employees can use OSHA’s whistleblower protection provisions to seek government-provided protection if they are retaliated against or fired for reporting a suspected violation.
3. Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Liability Protections
Workers injured during a job must be compensated for lost wages, medical expenses, and permanent disability under state workers’ compensation laws.
OSHA rules are in place to ensure that employees can report violations or safety concerns at their workplace and not be retaliated against by employers.