As a veteran construction worker, you know that you are in danger every time you set foot on a job site. From uncovered holes to loose scaffolding and randomly falling objects, there are hazards around every corner. This is why, under state and federal laws, employers must strive to provide a safe environment.
If you feel that your workplace is not safe due to a lack of protective gear, prolific corner cutting of safety standards, or even the use of subpar equipment, you can report the violation to your employer and to the state and federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). You even have the right to refuse to work until the safety issues have been resolved.
Unfortunately, even with strong safety measure in place, accidents can happen anytime. If you have been injured on the job, you may have a right to workers' compensation benefits. A local New Jersey personal injury attorney can help you file a workers' compensation claim or appeal a denial. Read further to find out more protecting yourself from unsafe working conditions.
OSHA requires that all employers maintain a safe workplace. This means that the work environment must be free of conditions that can cause injury, illness, or even death. OSHA's main intent is to protect workers from one-time injuries, illnesses caused by exposure to unsafe conditions, and serious hazards.
In order to be compliant with OSHA standards, your employer must ensure that your work environment is free from health and safety hazards that could potentially result in serious injury or death. In the case of the construction industry, this usually means that employees are properly trained in not only their jobs, but also how to effectively use personal protective gear, safety harnesses and other equipment specifically designed to reduce the risk of injury.
Your employer must also post an OSHA safety notice in the workplace. You have more than likely seen this posted in the break room or time-punch area. In addition, your employer must keep a record of injuries, deaths and exposure to hazardous materials that have happened to each employee.
If you feel a safety violation places you or your fellow employees in imminent danger, you should immediately report the hazard to OSHA. You have the right to refuse to work if you have a good faith belief that the workplace poses a serious threat and if your employer refuses to fix the situation.
If you have been injured on the job due to your employer's disregard for safety, it is important to remember that you have rights and options.