Given the numerous instances of train derailments involving toxic chemicals in 2023, it is imperative to reexamine the safety protocols at workplaces and ensure that employees understand they have the right to work in a secure environment.
As a worker in the United States, you are entitled to a safe and healthy work environment, and federal law safeguards your right to be employed in a workplace that is free from recognized health and safety dangers. Your employer bears the responsibility of ensuring that your workplace is secure and devoid of hazards that could pose a threat to your well-being.
Unfortunately, however, some workplaces may have unsafe conditions that can put your health and well-being at risk. Unsafe workplace conditions can take many forms. If you feel that your workplace is unsafe, you have the right to speak up about the hazards without fear of retaliation. You have the right to request safety and health training in a language that you understand. It is your employer’s responsibility to guarantee that all safety training is provided to you in a language that you can understand.
Further, every employee also has the right to work on machines that are safe and to receive the required safety equipment, such as gloves or a harness and lifeline for falls. Furthermore, you have the right to be protected from toxic chemicals that could cause harm to your health. Your employer must provide you with the necessary safety equipment to protect you from harm while performing your job duties as well as exposure to toxic chemicals.
If you believe that your workplace is unsafe, you have the right to request an OSHA inspection. You also have the right to speak to the OSHA inspector and provide them with any information that you believe is relevant to their investigation. In addition, you have the right to report an injury or illness that you have sustained while on the job.
Remember to speak up and report any unsafe conditions or behavior to your supervisor or human resources department. Make sure to document any incidents or conversations and keep copies of any relevant emails or documents. If your employer is unwilling or unable to address the problem, you may need to file a complaint with the appropriate government agency, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
If you do need to file a complaint it will be helpful to speak with an experienced employment attorney. At Rob Wiley P.C., our attorneys have extensive experience representing employees in workplace safety and employment law matters. Our attorneys can assist you in the process and provide guidance on the best course of action for your specific situation. We understand that reporting safety hazards or employment discrimination can be intimidating, but we are here to help you every step of the way.
Remember, you also have the right to obtain copies of your medical records related to the injury or illness. As well as records of work-related injuries and illnesses that have occurred in your workplace prior to your incident. This is because this information can be helpful in identifying hazards and preventing future accidents.
Lastly, you have the right to see the results of tests that have been taken to find workplace hazards. This information can help you to better understand the risks associated with your job and to take steps to protect yourself from harm.
In conclusion, it is essential to know your rights as an employee when it comes to workplace safety. Your employer has a legal obligation to ensure that your workplace is safe and free from hazards. If you feel that your rights have been violated, you have the right to speak up and seek assistance from OSHA. Remember, a safe workplace is your right, and you should never hesitate to speak up about any concerns that you have.