Steps to Take When Conditions Are Unsafe in Your Workplace
Federal and state laws protect workers from being exposed to unsafe conditions in the workplace. Unfortunately, violations of these laws occur in workplaces every day across the U.S. If you suspect that your health and safety are being compromised, you have the right to contact a workers’ compensation attorney in San Jose to discuss the risk of accidents at work.
Understand the Law
The main federal law that protects employees from unsafe conditions is the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). This law is enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is also referred to as OSHA. The law requires employers to adhere to safety standards, which include providing all appropriate safety training and maintaining a workplace environment that does not have safety or health hazards that could result in serious injury or death. Additionally, OSHA requires employers to post OSHA safety notices at the worksite and to maintain a record of exposure to hazardous materials, and injuries and deaths that occur.
Report the Problem
If you become aware that conditions at your worksite pose a risk of workplace injuries, you should report the unsafe condition immediately. It is preferable to first inform your supervisor or manager of the unsafe condition and ask that it be corrected. If appropriate corrective steps are not taken in a timely manner, you should report the problem to OSHA and consider speaking to a lawyer.
Know When to Refuse to Work
If an unsafe condition presents the risk of imminent, serious harm or death, you may have the right to refuse to work. The right to refuse to work should be exercised only when it is appropriate. Before refusing to work, you should have reported the condition to your employer and discovered that your employer would not correct the problem. You must also have reasonable belief that substantial injury or death would result from performing the work. In addition, the situation must be urgent to the extent that it does not allow sufficient time to report the problem to OSHA.
File a Complaint
If your employer refuses to take appropriate action to prevent workplace injuries, you should contact a lawyer if you haven’t already done so. Your lawyer can help you file a complaint with OSHA or an appropriate state agency. If you are fired in retaliation, which is unlawful, your attorney can represent your interests.