Red Flags in Workplace Safety
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
Written by AskTheLawyers.com™
In any industry, it is important to be aware of any red flags regarding workplace safety. Inadequate workplace safety measures and enforcement can result in serious injuries, especially in jobs which require manual labor such as warehouse work, factory work, oil field work, and more. However, injuries can occur in any job and should be reported to a supervisor and HR (Human Resources) department immediately.
There are a variety of red flags to look out for in any work environment.
- Safety meetings: Does your company host frequent or scheduled safety meetings? Safety should be a priority regardless of work place. If the work involves inherent dangers, it’s important to have frequent safety meetings. However, even office environments should host safety meetings on a scheduled, consistent basis.
- Culture of safety-awareness: Are safety recommendations taken seriously by employers and staff? Do supervisors enforce proper safety protocols? In environments where safety-awareness is lax, it’s a lot easier for significant oversights to occur, often resulting in serious injuries.
- Culture of open communication: How are safety concerns taken? If an employee brings up a concern, are they dismissed, encouraged to be silent on the matter, or are their concerns taken seriously and appropriately addressed? Do employees feel comfortable voicing concerns regarding safety?
- Personal protective equipment: Is personal protective equipment provided for necessary jobs? Is the equipment up-to-date and well-maintained? If someone does not wear their personal protective equipment, are corrective measures taken?
- Inadequate protection: Are all scaffolding, railing, and other fall protection measurements adequate to reasonably prevent injury?
- Industry safety regulation: Does your employer inform employees of industry safety regulations and enforce those regulations consistently?
- Inadequate supervision: Is the supervision adequate for jobs which require it and might hold an inherent risk? Do supervisors answer employee questions and remain present for whatever time it takes to complete an assigned task?
- Hazards: Are there avoidable hazards in the workplace? For example, are spills not mopped up and/or is there debris or machinery sitting in walkways? Any factor that makes a work environment unsafe is considered a hazard.
- Inadequate maintenance: Is regular maintenance performed on machinery used for the job? If so, is the maintenance checked for effectiveness? Does your employer continue to use out-of-date or recalled equipment?
Any one of these red flags could indicate a safety risk for workers. If multiple red flags are present it’s a good idea to address the situation with a supervisor and HR department if applicable, in addition to reporting it to the relevant authoritative body. For example, in many situations where workplace safety is overlooked, it might be wise to file a complaint with OSHA, requesting an investigation of safety measures on the premises.
If a workplace safety hazard results in injury, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ compensation insurance is something many employers purchase in order to provide injured workers with financial benefits covering medical bills and lost wages. Workers’ compensation also protects employers from liability in most cases. In many states it is required for employers to offer some kind of workers’ compensation, so it’s a good idea to look up the law in your area. Texas is the only state which does not require workers’ compensation, but many employers choose to offer it anyway. However, if negligence played a role in your workplace injury, you may be eligible to file a personal injury claim in addition to receiving workers’ compensation benefits. To learn more, contact a workers’ compensation attorney.