When you leave the house for work in the morning, you’re more likely to think about grabbing a cup of coffee than to wonder if you are heading to a safe environment for the day. Most people don’t spend a lot of time considering if their workplace is safe or not and in a perfect world, there would be no need to. But the reality is that workplaces can occasionally be unsafe and when this is the case, it’s important to understand how to first recognize and then handle the situation. If you are involved in a workplace accident due to unsafe conditions, you should discuss your rights with an experienced work injury attorney as soon as you can.
Signs to Watch For
An unsafe working environment can present itself in many different ways. These can range from health code violations, like failing to clean up hazardous waste materials, to physical safety issues, like wet floors without adequate signage.
Some of the potential dangers of a workplace can be obvious and will require immediate attention. These might include:
- Unmaintained or broken equipment
- Live wires or other unattended electrical issues
- People working on machinery without direct supervision or proper training
- Working around chemicals that are in unlabeled containers
Other dangers might not be as obvious but still require equal consideration. Some of these might include:
- Poor lighting and unlit exit signs
- Lack of training for new hires and insufficient updates on how to use new equipment
- Safety gear is outdated or not provided
How to Take Action if Your Workplace Is Not Safe
Federal law requires that all employers provide a safe work space for their employees. If you believe that your working conditions are unsafe or unhealthy, you have the right to bring this to your employer’s attention. If they fail to correct the situation, you have the right to refuse to work in unsafe conditions.
According to The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), you can protect yourself from an unsafe workplace. If you decide to go this route, maintain a written record of all interactions as they may be required at a future date for legal purposes.
- First, notify your employer of the danger and ask them to fix the issue.
- If they do not comply, tell your employer that due to the unsafe conditions, you will not work until the issue is fixed.
- If it is safe to do so, stay on the premises even though you are not working (unless your employer asks you to leave).
- File an official complaint with OSHA and include all correspondence between yourself and your employer.
In many cases, unsafe work conditions are not identified in time to prevent accidents and injuries. If you have suffered a workplace injury, you have important legal rights to benefits and compensation.
If You Were Injured at Work, Call a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at Brauns Law today
Workplace injuries are unfortunate but not uncommon. If you or someone you know has been injured due to an unsafe working environment in Gwinnett County, Georgia, first seek immediate medical attention and then contact the attorneys at Brauns Law. We are here to help you. Our experienced group of lawyers will work on your behalf to advocate for compensation on your claim. Call us today at (404) 205-8614 for a free consultation or contact us online.