OSHA Workers Right to a Safe Workplace
Federal law mandates all workers have the right to a safe workplace. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration, or OSHA, is the agency responsible for setting workplace safety standards and enforcing workplace safety laws.
Employees have the right to a work environment clear of health and safety hazards. If their work environment has hazards that aren’t addressed, workers have the right to speak up about these hazards without fear of being retaliated against by their employer or other employees.
Here are some of the other rights workers have:
- The right to be trained in a language the worker understands.
- The right to work on machinery and equipment that is safe.
- The right to proper safety gear for the task being performed, such as hard hats, gloves, safety harnesses, etc.
- The right to be safeguarded against toxic chemical exposure.
- The right to report injuries and illnesses.
- The right to review records and logs related to work injuries and illnesses.
- The right to request OSHA inspections.
- The right to speak to OSHA inspectors.
- The right to see and get copies of any test results related to workplace hazards.
Violating Workers Right To A Safe Workplace
OSHA’s workplace standards protect workers from thousands of on-the-job injuries every year. When employers fail to uphold these standards, it can quickly result in worker injuries.
Across the United States, OSHA inspectors are visiting job sites and look for violations of safety standards by employers. Here are the most commonly cited OSHA violations:
- Fall Protection: Working on elevated surfaces is one of the most dangerous tasks for an employee. Falls from any height can cause serious injuries. It is the employer’s job to make sure workers have proper safety gear to guard against fall injuries, such as harnesses and safety nets.
- Hazard Communication: This violation occurs when an employer fails to inform workers of potential hazards on the jobsite. Hazard communication may occur in different forms, such as through posting warning signs, adding labels on containers, during employee training, etc.
- Scaffolding: Specific safety standards must be followed in the construction and use of scaffolding. Failure to meet these standards can result in catastrophic worker injuries or even death.
- Respiratory Protection: There are many workplaces in which an employee will be exposed to toxic breathable materials, such as dust, fumes, fogs, gases, smokes, vapors, or sprays. It is the employer’s job to provide proper protection against these hazards, such as respirators for the employees and proper ventilation in the work area.
- Lockout/Tagout: Much of the machinery and equipment used on a jobsite has the potential to release unexpected energy at certain times, which could injure employees. Employers are required under OSHA regulations to establish protocol for attaching the appropriate lockout or tagout devices to the equipment to avoid these injuries.
- Powered Industrial Trucks: OSHA requires all such vehicles, which includes equipment such as forklifts, to meet safety requirements for design, maintenance, fire protection, and use.
- Ladders: OSHA mandates ladders must be able to support specified minimum weight loads.
- Electrical Wiring Methods: When wiring a jobsite, specific methods are required to minimize the risks of electrocution and fire.
- Machine Guarding: OSHA standards require machines to have proper guarding so employees are protected from such hazards as sparks, rotating parts, and flying materials.
- Electrical, General Requirements: These general electrical violations relate to such issues as failing to properly guard electrical equipment, not installing equipment correctly, failing to keep workspaces clear, and not identifying circuits and disconnect points
What To Do When Workers Are Injured In Lubbock, Texas
Although the standards and regulations set by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration prevent many on the job injuries every year, far too many employers disregard these rules resulting in workers getting hurt. If this has happened to you, a Lubbock work injury attorney at Liggett Law Group can get you financial compensation for the injuries caused by your employer’s negligence.
If you were hurt at work, contact Liggett Law Group today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your case and learn more about workers right to a safe workplace.