California Unsafe Working Conditions Lawyer
It may sound surprising, but people spend over 30% of their lifetime on the job. During this time, people expect to be able to perform their job safely. Over the past several decades, we have passed laws to ensure that workplace safety is maintained. Unfortunately, workplace accidents continue to be a problem.
Most employers strive to provide a safe work environment, but some maintain negligent attitudes toward enforcing workplace safety. When conditions are not safe, employees endure consequences such as severe injuries, psychological trauma, and crushing medical debt from lost wages.
For these reasons, employees must remain vigilant to safeguard themselves at work when employers do not. Attorneys with KCNS Law Group are committed to helping individuals who are injured in unsafe working environments quality legal representation.
Defining Unsafe Working Conditions in California
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines unsafe working conditions as “a dangerous or hazardous condition in the workplace that prevents a worker from being able to do their job properly.”
Some people accept the belief that work can be dangerous. While some professions come with inherent danger, employers have a responsibility to ensure that workers can safely perform the functions of the job. Over time, employees can get used to working under dangerous circumstances, not even realizing that workplace functions they regularly perform are hazardous.
Some examples of workplace hazards include:
- Toxic chemical exposure
- Using broken equipment
- Not having safety gear
- And a lack of proper training to use equipment and operate machinery
Encountering these situations at work puts employees at risk of serious injury or even death. Having proper safety measures in place helps employees do their job well, and they can trust that their employer cares for their well-being.
Why Do Unsafe Working Conditions Go Unreported?
By choosing to ignore glaring signs, unsafe working conditions remain unreported. Employees may choose to remain silent for several reasons, such as the fear of losing their job or their employer retaliating against them in some way. They may also not report safety concerns because they don’t believe they have the authority to make the report, relying on someone else to notice and report the issue.
Regardless of the reason, remaining silent about work hazards creates an unsafe work environment.
How the OHSA Protects California Employees
Over the past several decades, a great deal has been done to ensure that workers can do their jobs safely. However, despite the advancements, some employers still choose to cut corners and put employees at risk.
The Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 (OSH Act) was passed to prevent workers from getting killed or injured at work. Under the act, employees have the right to:
- File a confidential complaint with OSHA that leads to a workplace inspection.
- Receive information and training about hazards and the methods to prevent injury at the workplace.
- File a complaint with OSHA if they have been retaliated against by their employer to request an inspection of the workplace.
- File a complaint if retaliated against for acting as a “whistleblower.”
Having these protections in place gives employees the freedom to speak up against unsafe working conditions.
California Employer Responsibilities Under OSHA
Employers have a responsibility to take care of their workers while they’re on the job. OSHA has a strict set of rules to ensure that happens. Under OSHA, employers must fulfill their ‘general duty to their employees, which is keeping the workplace free of hazards.
It’s also the law for employers to display the official OSHA poster in a visible area for employees. This poster gives employees an overview of their rights under OSHA.
Not adhering to these responsibilities is negligent and risks the health and safety of employees.
How COVID-19 Brings More Attention to Workplace Safety
Unsafe working conditions are not limited to slip and falls, chemical spills, and faulty equipment. Having a sanitary work environment is important for safety as well. After the Covid-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill in 2020, employers and lawmakers were forced to re-think workplace safety.
In addition to being mindful of typical safety concerns, employers now must ensure that the work environment is run in a health-conscious manner as the battle against COVID-19 rages on. By staying informed of recent CDC guidelines, employers can do their part to slow the spread of the virus down.
Employers can take steps such as:
- Requiring masks for indoor workspaces
- Enact safe-distancing policies for work
- Mandating employees with COVID-like symptoms to stay home
- And encouraging employees to get vaccinated
Employers should also regularly disinfect high-traffic areas to help keep employees safe. While OSHA does not regulate policies for how businesses handle the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus adds a new element to ensure workplace safety. Employers that don’t adhere to CDC guidelines risk making the work environment stressful if employees don’t believe that they can safely execute their duties.
Employment Lawyers Can Help You Fight Back Against Unsafe Work Conditions
Unsafe working conditions have serious ramifications if they aren’t addressed. Severe injuries and deaths can be prevented when precautions are followed. If you’ve suffered a serious injury because of unsafe working conditions, it’s critical to have someone on your side that can review the evidence and get justice. This is where you can hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to review your case.
Once the site where the incident occurred will be investigated, and you may be eligible to be compensated for your injuries. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate this often-overwhelming process and help you make informed decisions.
Employment lawyers specialize in taking employers head-on and holding them accountable for negligence. They protect your workers’ rights, guard you against illegal retaliation, and pursue lawsuits for workplace negligence.
Get in Touch With an Unsafe Workplace Attorney in California
Our dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys at the KCNS Law Group have specialized in the areas of personal injury and workers’ compensation for 40 Years. We are committed to delivering a client-centered approach to address your unique needs.
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