Many workers take for granted that they will go to work and be able to perform their duties without accidents or injuries. However, the sad truth is that many employees are injured or even killed in the workplace.
Workplace safety is a huge issue in Texas. The state leads the nation in construction-related deaths and in 2015, a construction worker died, on average, every three days.
Workplace accidents in Texas are rising as construction is booming in the area. A strong economy is allowing for more and more buildings at a rapid pace. Unfortunately, the workers have to suffer as a result.
A good way to avoid becoming a victim is to be proactive. Talking with your employer about safety procedures and being alert to situations in which someone can get injured are good ways to prevent accidents, which can lead to serious workplace injuries.
What happens if your employer asks you to perform a job duty that is unsafe? It depends on whether or not the hazard poses an imminent danger. If the danger is not imminent, the employee should inform the employer of the situation in writing. The employer should then take the appropriate steps to fix the situation. If the employer refuses to do so, then the employee should contact the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and file a complaint.
If the hazard poses an imminent danger, the employee can refuse the work and inform OSHA of the situation. The employee can refuse work if the situation has the ability to cause serious injury or death, there is no alternative to get the work done and the employer refuses to correct the situation. The employee may refuse work until OSHA investigates the situation or the employer removes the hazard.
Your Rights as an Employee
As an employee, you have the right to a safe workplace. You have the right to use safe tools and machinery. You must be trained in a language you understand. You must be given safety gear for hazardous situations. You also have the right to view your employer’s accident records, get copies of your medical records and be protected from toxic chemicals.
You can also make a complaint with OSHA at any time if you are concerned about safety in your workplace. You cannot face retaliation from your employer for doing so. If your employer demotes you, reduces your pay or fires you after making a complaint, you can be given your old job back. Be sure to file a whistleblower complaint within 30 days.
Get Legal Help After a Workplace Accident
Employees have a right to a safe work environment. If you feel your workplace is unsafe or have been injured, it’s important that you take the proper steps.
If you were injured in a workplace accident, contact Christensen Law Firm, PLLC. You may be able to recover compensation through workers’ compensation benefits, a lawsuit against your employer, or both. Reach out to our office today at (512) 872-4834 to schedule a consultation and learn more about your options.