A safe workplace isn't something that employees should have to fight for. Instead, it is something that employers should be happy to provide. Even if the workplace is as safe as possible, there is still a chance that an employee will be injured.
Workplace safety isn't supposed to be simply an abstract concept. It's not enough for your employer to remind people to work safely or simply to refrain from encouraging unsafe behavior in the name of increased production.
It is true that employers in Pennsylvania are responsible for providing a safe place to work for their employees. This often means supplying workers with working and well-maintained tools, equipment and personal protection gear. However, preventable accidents can still happen even under employers who take workplace safety very seriously.
Does your employer require you to wear a back belt when lifting or moving heavier objects? Do you wear one because you feel it helps prevent injury to your back? Back injuries are a very common injury in the workplace. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), almost 20 percent of workplace injuries are back injuries. In an effort to help determine ways to prevent back injuries, NIOSH wanted to know if back belts actually helped prevent back injuries.
How safe is your workplace?
As a worker, the first thing you'll probably do if there's a workplace hazard is to go to your boss or immediate supervisor. You'll note the issue and ask for changes to be made to keep you and other workers safe. But what if your boss does nothing and the company leaves the unsafe conditions in place? Do you have any other options?
Back in March, a 61-year-old woman was found in a walk-in freezer at the hotel where she worked. She had been trapped for 13 hours. Her eyes and her head were frozen solid. The skin on her knuckles, according to her husband's complaint in a lawsuit against the hotel, had been worn away as she knocked, desperate to get out.
Employees working for Station Builders Inc., were not provided personal protective equipment and didn't use portable ladders correctly, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The federal safety agency also said that the company didn't conduct regular and frequent worksite inspections.
There are a lot of dangerous jobs out there. A requirement for employers to better protect workers is to provide "personal protective equipment" (PPE) when necessary.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's duty is to assure the safe working conditions for men and women. It sets and enforces standards, and uses training, education, outreach and more to make workplaces safe.