Workers generally have the right to a safe workplace and when that has been compromised, different protections are available to help protect them. Both federal and state laws require employers to provide their employees with a safe workplace and a safe working environment and it is important that workers are familiar with their protections and rights in the workplace.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) is a federal law designed to protect workers from unsafe workplaces. This includes protections from both workplace injuries and occupational illnesses. To help keep workers safe, employers are required to provide a workplace that is free of health and safely hazards that might cause serious injuries or death; keep a record of injuries, exposures to hazardous materials and deaths in the workplace; provide any necessary safety training; and post OSHA safety training notices in the workplace.
There are different procedures for reporting workplace hazards based on the situation and circumstances. In addition, when a workplace injury has occurred, it is important that injured workers are also familiar with the procedure for reporting the injury to their employer and with the workers' compensation protections available to them and how to access them. When a worker has suffered a workplace injury, or is suffering from an occupational illness, workers' compensation benefits can help with their medical expenses, lost earnings and other concerns as well.
There are different layers of protection to help keep workers safe in the workplace and protect them from the impact of unsafe working conditions. As a result, injured workers should know how they are protected and be familiar with how to access the different resources available to them if they have been harmed.