Know your rights. Every worker has the right to a protected work environment and the safety of keeping their job if they need to address concerns. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations are designed to limit construction accidents and keep companies in check, ensuring that they don’t risk the health of their workers.
OSHA for instance has recently been in the news for issues relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has not created any regulations that would advise employers what they are required to do to keep employees safe regarding the virus.
OSHA worker rights consist of providing workers the right to have knowledge of their work environment, the ability to receive information on potential hazards and the company’s history with OSHA compliance, as well as being up-to-date on their own personal injury records. You are entitled to all of this under federal law.
Created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), OSHA has the task of enforcing the OSH Act and does so in a couple of ways:
First, OSHA creates regulations that tell employers what they must do to protect their employees, the failure to do so results in the enforcement role by both investigating and imposing fines or enforcing other penalties.
OSHA has refused to use its legal authority to create regulations to address the threat of the coronavirus in the workplace, which has left employers to undertake that enforcement and although OSHA has taken some action and undertaken some inspections and the like, this still leaves many workers exposed to risk.
However OSHA does undertake many other workplace issues and the consequences can be significant for both employers and workers.
Workplace knowledge and equipment
Your worker rights defend your ability to receive workplace training and instruction in a language you can understand. Health and safety training is an integral part of work instruction, especially while specializing in construction. If you are not well informed of your responsibilities and have not received the necessary training for the specialization in your field, it is the fault of the workplace, not you.
This section also applies to working on machines that are safe and well inspected, including having the necessary safety equipment – gloves, glasses, hardhats and especially harnesses and lifelines for equipment fails – and requires for managers to accept on-the-ground worker knowledge on these issues by providing necessary adjustments to increase worker safety.
Safety from hazards
Construction is a hazardous work environment by default, but that does not mean that companies can expect risks and dangerous working conditions to be the default. In fact, it is their responsibility to provide more safety precautions than others, and making sure workers are able to work without the risk of bodily harm.
Workers are protected by OSHA law against toxic chemicals and may request OSHA inspections and speak directly to an inspector without any company prejudice.
An OSHA inspection is not a friendly visit, and can stack up fines for the company where they could have been ignored instead. But rather than risking minor issues until they grow unmanageable, it is the worker’s responsibility to keep their employer’s practices in check – for their safety and the safety of others. Workers have a right to see previous tests made to find dangerous hazards to understand their extent and efficacy.
Personal health and injury
If workplace injuries do happen, regardless of company culpability, workers have a right to report their injury or illness and receive personal medical records.
Permission to oversee past records of injury in the workplace is extremely important when reviewing the dangers of the job and what needs to still be rectified under OSHA law. If you have been in a workplace accident, providing evidence of company negligence is essential to overall safety. In Long Island, look into construction accident lawyer harrison.
Protection from retaliation makes it illegal for employers to fire, denote or transfer any worker who has brought their grievances to OSHA, using their worker rights. If your employer has gone against this rule, you are entitled to file a whistleblower complaint in the following 30 days of the supposed wrongdoing.
It is also possible to file confidential complaints to OSHA in order to negate the risk and hazards of your workplace if you believe your employers have not fully accounted for your safety.
About the Firm:
The Harrison Law Group, P.C. is a personal injury law firm who is exclusively dedicated to handing a wide range of personal injury cases which include OSHA issues.