In order to have a safe work environment, it is important to start with having the proper safety procedures in place in the working environment. It is then important that employees are properly trained about hazardous conditions in the workplace and how to maintain safety in the workplace. Finally, it is important that the employees use the tools given to them from their employer and if the employee seeks additional information, then the employee can ask the employer for more guidance and/or the employee can seek guidance from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
Many companies have strict safety standards that go above and beyond OSHA’s basic safety standards, If, however, an employee notices hazards in the workplace and/or that proper safety protocol is not being followed, then OSHA gives the employee an avenue to notify the employer through OSHA, and the employee may also have her/his name kept confidential if he/she so desires.
According to OSHA, “Each year approximately 6,000 employees in this country die from workplace injuries while another 50,000 die from illnesses caused by exposure to workplace hazards. In addition, 6 million workers suffer non-fatal workplace injuries.” To help prevent exposure to workplace safety and health hazards, both the employer and the employee must comply with all OSHA requirements applicable and specific to that industry. As stated above, in order to avoid accidents and hazards in the workplace it is imperative that the employer maintain a safe working environment for all employees through the employers own actions and through proper training to its employees on workplace hazards as well as workplace safety.
Once the employer provides training, it is then the employees responsibility to attend such trainings as said trainings are offered. The employee may also take additional measures to keep the employee safe in the workplace and avoid hazardous working conditions by educating oneself and keeping abreast as to new developments that address elimination of hazardous conditions in the workplace and safety in the workplace.
There are actually three (3) dominate Department of Labor (DOL) agencies that have responsibility for the administration and enforcement of the laws enacted to protect the safety and health of workers in America:
1. OSHA administers the Occupational Safety & Health (OSH) Act.
2. The Mine Safety and Health Administration has the responsibility for administration and enforcement of the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977.
3. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) contains rules concerning the employment of young workers such as those workers under the age of 18.
Finally, OSHA provides much free safety information through a small business safety handbook that is provided for free through OSHA. The small business handbook will quickly lead both the employer and the employee in the right direction of keeping a safe working environment.
It is a hard fact, however, that no matter how many preventions and safety measures are put into place that there can still be an accident in the workplace that is either foreseeable or unforeseeable. Many jobs have inherit risks in a certain line of employment such as the operation of dangerous equipment in the construction trade, or the exposure to illness in the medical profession. Please note that just since a job contains inherent risks does not mean that the employer is not responsible if an employee is injured or killed on the job.
If you or a loved one is injured or tragically killed on the job in Atlanta, Georgia, Fulton County, Cobb County, Gwinnett County, just to name a few of the counties and cities that we serve, then please Contact Us for your free legal consultation. At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys are experts with cases involving the Injured or Killed Worker, and we have success representing thousands of people and families who have suffered as a result of Workplace Injuries or Deaths in Georgia. We can be reached by phone at 770-865-8654, or (813) 363-6664, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Contact Us on our website by completing the Contact Information Form.
We look forward to hearing from you and making sure that you receive all of the just compensation that you deserve.