Every person who is employed should have the peace of mind that their employer is providing a safe work area. While some positions may be at higher risk than others, there are laws and regulations on both the state and federal levels that help keep threats low and employer involvement high. In order to reduce the chances of injury or even death in the workplace, there are a number of factors that should be incorporated in every workplace.
Understand the Rules about Massachusetts Workplace Safety
There are actually a number of general rules that apply to all workplaces as well as specific workplaces that may house certain chemicals or hazardous material. These rules are compiled in the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA). This comprehensive list of rules provides both employer and staff with the general guidelines for what should be expected for basic workplace safety. Some of the areas that OSHA focuses on are rules such:
- Fire safety features
- Number of exits
- Emergency action plans
- Noise exposure
- Medical and First Aid
However, there are a number of sub-categories and workplace-specific rules that apply. For a full list of each rule please visit the OSHA website for more information.
How to Report Violations
In some instances, it becomes apparent that an employer is in blatant violation of OSHA regulations. If this happens, the employee has a right to report the violations. Some avenues you may take when filing a complaint are the following:
- Massachusetts Attorney General
- The Department of Labor
- Seek advice from an experienced attorney
It is important that people understand that their workplace should always be safe and if you have any questions about safety, you can certainly reach out to any of the above or reference the list of OSHA workplace safety rules.
Know Your Rights
While it may be intimidating to report violations, know that the law is on your side. In fact, OSHA makes it possible for employees to refuse to work without losing their position, if the workplace is not up to safety standards. Furthermore, people do not have to worry about losing their position for filing a complaint. Whistleblowers are protected and will not lose their job or be subject to workplace harassment. There may be no retaliation made toward a person who reports any safety issues and if that occurs, the employer is breaking the law and is subject to lawsuits or other judicial recourse. The focus of the law is to ensure that all people are kept as safe as possible and if conditions are not up to standard, then employers should be held responsible.
If you or someone you know needs help with Massachusetts workplace safety, reach out to someone who understands. The Worcester County law firm of Peter Ventura can assist you with understanding your rights and understanding the laws associated with workplace injury. Give him a call at 508-755-7535 and receive the help that will give you peace of mind.
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