Employers responsible for eliminating work injury hazards

Are your working conditions considered safe? For many unwitting Oklahoma workers, the answer may be, "No," even though they are not aware of specific hazards. Your employer has a responsibility to keep you safe by preventing the hazardous conditions that lead to workplace accidents; by failing to do so, your employer could risk being targeted by a workers' compensation claim. All Oklahoma workers have the right to a safe, healthy workplace, no matter the nature of their jobs.

Your employer is probably subject to the provisions handed down under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. This federal statute requires employers to provide safe workplaces for their employees. That means that workplaces should not include hazards that could lead to injury, sickness or death. These rules are enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

You have the right to be protected from a workplace injury accident. As a result, you also have the right to stop work when you believe that your task poses an immediate safety threat to you or your co-workers. Employers must honor the right of a worker to refuse to complete a task if it poses a substantial and immediate risk of injury or death. Employees are also permitted to stop work if the employer refuses to fix a dangerous condition, and the worker does not have a safe alternative for performing the task.

Oklahoma workers are protected from unsafe working conditions by federal law. However, employers often violate those laws, putting workers at risk of serious injury and death. The unfortunate fact is that workplace accidents can and do still occur. Victims of workplace injury accidents may have legal options, however, including remuneration through workers' compensation claims. You do not have to suffer in silence after your workplace injury accident.

Source: FindLaw, "Protecting Yourself from Unsafe Working Conditions" Sep. 02, 2014

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