Speak Up if You See an OSHA Violation
Reporting workplace safety violations can help prevent disastrous accidents, and the law protects you from retaliation by your employer if you report unsafe conditions in your workplace.
You might remember studying the Industrial Revolution in your high school history class and seeing those black-and-white photographs of work environments that might as well have been entirely gray in real life from all the dirt and smoke. You can tell just from looking that working conditions were extremely unsafe and workplace accidents resulting in fatalities and serious injuries were common. Starting in the last years of the 19th century, the first laws regulating industrial workplace safety went into effect. Since 1970, a federal agency called the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) enforces the safety standards for workplaces. If you have reported an OSHA violation at your workplace, or if you plan to report a violation, contact an Omaha industrial accidents lawyer.
What is an OSHA Violation?
All workplaces must comply with safety standards set by OSHA. Inspectors from OSHA periodically inspect workplaces to ensure compliance with the safety standards. If the workplace does not meet the standards, it must correct the violation within a set period of time or else face penalties such as fines. Some violations require the work site to be shut down until the violation is corrected. These are some of the OSHA safety requirements:
- Workers must receive health and safety training at the beginning of their employment and whenever a change in regulations or in an employee’s job description requires new training. The training must be in a language the worker understands, which may require an interpreter to be present.
- Employers must provide safety equipment appropriate to the job, such as helmets, goggles, or safety harnesses.
- Workers must have access to accident reports, upon request.
- Workplaces must minimize workers’ exposure to toxic substances, as much as the job allows.
- Workers have the right to request OSHA inspections and to speak freely to the inspectors during the inspections.
Your Rights Under OSHA
You have the right to a work environment that is free from preventable hazards. Federal law also protects you from retaliation from your employer, in the form of termination of employment or other adverse actions, if you file an OSHA whistleblower complaint. OSHA allows workers to report workplace safety violations anonymously. It is in your interest and that of your co-workers and all workers in your industry if you report a safety violation. You can prevent injuries and costly accidents, and the law protects you from your employer punishing you for speaking up. Your employer might try to retaliate, but your lawyer can help you exercise your legal rights.
Contact Andres Law Offices, PC LLO About Workplace Safety Violations
The best way to protect yourself from retaliation is to contact a lawyer before you report a safety violation to OSHA. A workplace accident lawyer can help you navigate the process of filing an OSHA complaint. Contact Andres Law Offices, PC LLO in Omaha, Nebraska about your case.