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Ways to prevent a work-related accident


When a New Yorker starts a new job -- or takes on a new duty at a job he's held for many years -- he may feel pressured to perform the duty to the employer's standards. This may mean performing dangerous duties without proper gear or training, therefore increasing the risk of injury. However, workers should know that they have rights in the workplace and these rights include employer compliance with standards put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

First of all, proper training is important to ensure a safe workplace. Even though employers may be pressed for time, safety should not be overlooked. If the employee is to work with chemicals, heavy equipment or other dangerous objects, he or she must fully understand how to handle and use the items. Otherwise, the risk of suffering a work-related accident greatly increases.

Employees can be proactive and be observant of their surroundings. Are chemicals being used properly? Do co-workers appear to have the necessary training to perform their duties safely? Does the employer have rules and regulations available for employees to review? Any safety hazards should be reported to the employer. If the employer refuses to remedy the situations, the worker can then notify OSHA of the suspected violation.

When an OSHA representative visits the workplace, employees have the right to talk to the person and inform him or her of any hazards. Employees can also request the results of any inspection and file appeals if they disagree with any decisions. Workers cannot be reprimanded for being involved in the inspection. They also cannot be terminated for refusing to work in an unsafe environment, asit is the employer's responsibility to keep its employees safe.


Source: FindLaw, "Workers' Rights Under OSHA," accessed Aug. 22, 2014

Source: FindLaw, "Workers' Rights Under OSHA," accessed Aug. 22, 2014

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