Not every job is inherently dangerous. After all, you won’t have cranes swinging around and jackhammers going every second if you’re working in a cubicle in an office environment.
Nevertheless, all workers, regardless of their occupation, should feel safe while on the job, and employers should take all necessary and legally required steps to provide the safest work environment possible.
So, what requirements must employers follow, and what does a safe work environment look like?
Are employers required to maintain a safe work environment?
Business owners must maintain a safe work environment to reduce the risk of harm to their workers under federal, state, and local laws. For example, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides guidelines related to workplace safety. OSHA also offers training to inform employers of their legal obligations to employees when it comes to mitigating risks and preventing an office or worksite from becoming a dangerous environment.
Unfortunately, many businesses neglect these legal obligations. If an employer fails to adhere to safety rules and standards set forth by OSHA and other regulatory agencies, it is likely that the work environment is unsafe.
What contributes to an unsafe or dangerous work environment?
Unsafe or dangerous work environments contain hazardous conditions and risks to the health and/or safety of employees. Below is a sampling of working conditions generally considered unsafe:
- Poor lighting
- Broken or damaged stairs
- Uneven floors
- Chemical spills or chemical storage problems
- Lack of signage
- Improper ventilation
- Lack of personal protective equipment (PPE)
- No routine safety training
Employer negligence can lead to a dangerous work environment, which can result in serious injuries. A key factor in the development of a dangerous work environment is the failure of businesses to keep up with routine maintenance in the workplace. Basic steps such as regular cleaning and equipment repairs can go a long way toward reducing work-related injuries from accidents, slips and falls, electrical shocks, and equipment malfunctions.
Employers should also be sure to offer adequate safety protocols and training. Failing to train employees on how to handle machinery, use protective equipment, and follow safety procedures puts employees at significant risk. Without the necessary knowledge and guidance, employees are vulnerable to workplace hazards.
Contact a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your injury claim
A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer can assist workers who were injured at an unsafe or dangerous worksite in obtaining compensation for their injuries and losses. For example, an experienced workers’ comp attorney can navigate through the complexities of the workers’ comp application process to ensure injured workers secure the benefits they are owed. Plus, having a skilled and experienced workers’ compensation attorney in your corner can provide a level of reassurance that your workers’ comp claim is being investigated and handled properly — remember, the employer’s insurance company is not on your side.
Hunter & Everage is ready to take your call about your injury. Contact our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers today.