In all occupations, employers are obligated to ensure their employees are provided with a safe work environment and protective equipment. As a safe environment is mandated by law, you need to help keep your employer accountable by being able to identify signs of an unsafe work environment so that proper action can be taken.
Violating OSHA Guidelines
OSHA is a governmental organization and therefore their established practices and regulations are not recommendations, but mandatory by law. OSHA guidelines are readily available for anyone to look up, so you should familiarize yourself with these guidelines and ensure your employer is doing the same. Guideline violations can be something as seemingly small as a lack of fall protection like guard rails or harnesses on a construction site. Don’t hesitate to address OSHA violations.
No Safety Training
While working in an office doesn’t pose many job-related hazards, many manual labor occupations such as construction are innately hazardous. It’s vital that employers train employees to properly operate machinery, equipment, and personal protection equipment. If you’re offered no training or guidance when hired, that should be a red flag. Don’t place yourself in danger by operating machinery without being taught how to use it.
Missing Personal Protection Equipment
Worse than not being trained to use personal protection equipment is the complete lack of it. This equipment is capable of mitigating most workplace hazards and should be considered one of the biggest signs of an unsafe work environment if not provided. A lack of proper protective equipment is clear neglect of an employer’s duty.
While it’s normal to sometimes request employees to work overtime in order to meet strict demands or big projects, it should never be the norm. Being overworked and overly stressed is detrimental to an employee’s mental and physical wellbeing. Fatigue and caution do not go together, and fatigued employees will be more prone to mistakes that could cause injury to themselves and their coworkers.