Lion tamers and tightrope walkers have rights to a work environment characterized by workplace safety.
Employers must comply with certain safety standards required by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act and state laws. Employers must provide a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that are likely to cause death or severe physical harm. There are also standards specific to various workplace environments regarding workplace safety.
The rules extend to temperature, lighting, noise, first aid, fire extinguishers, fire alarms, office equipment, chairs, toilets, protective equipment, and smoking.
There are requirements on reports, inspections, records, posting and notification of employee rights.
You also have a right to refuse to perform unsafe work. There are severe civil and criminal penalties for employers who violate these laws.
You are protected from being retaliated against for “blowing the whistle” on safety violations. However, make sure your employer is violating safety standards before you complain. You may not be very popular with them if you were wrong.
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Don D. Sessions, a Mission Viejo attorney, author and law school professor, helps employees enforce their rights.
Workplace safety news
I read with sadness the news on July 18 about the 2 deaths and several other injuries of worksite workers as a result of scaffolding that collapsed at the Downtown Line construction site at Bugis. Workplace accidents like these …
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recently expressed concern that some workplace safety policies could discourage employee reporting, constitute unlawful discrimination and also violate recordkeeping …
A New Jersey demolition and concrete recycling company is facing citations for safety violations after a worker’s death prompted an investigation by federal workplace safety officials. …
In addition to providing EMS safety and health resources and references, the page offers a data summary describing nonfatal injuries to EMS workers treated in emergency departments. Visit the EMS workplace safety page.
Safety videos – this safety video is called “The 10 Commandments of Workplace Safety” – New and produced in 2009 features many current Australian WorkSafe/WorkCover themes (eg keep talking the safety talk, it doesn’t hurt to speak up, the most import…