Safety Rules Employers Must Follow at All Times
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, there were roughly 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries in 2017. If you are not trained properly or don’t have proper protective equipment, you could be at risk of getting injured on the job.
Your Employer Must Identify and Mitigate All Potential Hazards
At a minimum, a person or team of people must be dedicated to finding and mitigating hazards on the job. If you see a potential hazard, you are allowed to report it without fear of retaliation or harassment on the part of an owner or a supervisor. You also have the option to refuse to perform a given task if you legitimately believe that it unnecessarily puts your health or safety at risk.
Your employer should have a written safety plan that has protocols in place to prevent hazards from occurring. The plan should also include contingency procedures that can be implemented in the event that a chemical spill or some other type of emergency situation occurs. For example, you may be directed to report an incident to a certain person or head to a central location to avoid further risk of injury or death.
You Have the Right to Protective Equipment
Falls from heights are among the most common reasons why workers get hurt. Therefore, if you are going to be working several feet off the ground, be sure that you have a safety harness or other equipment to guard against a fall. Examples of protective equipment could include footwear with nonslip soles or platforms that have guardrails you can hang onto.
Goggles, hard hats and gloves are other kinds of protective gear employers must provide to their workers if a situation calls for it. Eyewash stations and decontamination showers should also be readily accessible if you handle chemicals or toxic materials.
You Are Entitled to Training in Your Native Language
The company that you work for has an obligation to provide sufficient training to ensure that you can do your job safely. This training must be provided in a language that is familiar to you. Therefore, if you speak English, you must be trained using materials written in that language. If you speak Spanish, you must be given training in Spanish.
Employers Must Provide Tools That Are Free From Defects
Let’s say that you clean produce that comes down a conveyor belt or you use a machine to cut meat. Any machine or conveyor belt employed to perform such a task must function properly at all times. Furthermore, there must be specific procedures in place to ensure that machines, power tools or other items used at work can be cleaned and maintained safely.
You’re Entitled to Request an OSHA Inspection
OSHA is the agency in charge of making sure that employers follow safety rules and regulations. If you don’t think that a hazard has been properly identified or rectified, you can ask that this agency perform an investigation. In the event that an inspection takes place, an employee representative must be allowed to observe it. You and your fellow workers get to choose who that person is with no input from your employer.
Feel Free to Request Your Own Medical Records
OSHA rules allow workers to request their own medical records or any other information that an employer may keep on file. Furthermore, you have the right to see copies of workplace injury and accident logs that your company keeps on file. These records may be used by your workers’ comp lawyer to get you the compensation you deserve in a workers’ compensation or personal injury lawsuit.
If you have been hurt on the job, talk to a workers’ comp lawyer from the Voorhees Law Office LLC. You can contact our office in Somerville to arrange an appointment by calling (908) 200-2297 during normal business hours. Our firm can also be reached by sending a fax to (908) 704-7329.