Everyone expects to go to work, come home, and then continue living their lives, enjoying their free time. All that it takes is one workplace accident for this routine to get interrupted. Before you know it, you won’t be able to enjoy your free time, because you’re in too much pain. You more than likely won’t be able to work either. Your livelihood – and your entire life – could change in a single moment, all because you got hurt on the job.
Most businesses need to follow OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) standards. This doesn’t mean that you won’t get injured while at work, or that those safety policies won’t be rescinded the second that the regulators walk out the door. In fact, when the company that you work for places a larger emphasis on productivity than they do safety, those regulations fly out the window, leaving your health at risk. These rules are forgotten and shortcuts are implemented. Those shortcuts can lead to any number of debilitating injuries.
Being Your Own Safety Advocate
It’s nice to believe that the company you work for is keeping an eye on your safety. They want their workers to be safe so that they can continue being productive, right? The reality is that this isn’t the case at all. The higher-ups in your company are more concerned with their bottom line than they are the health and safety of their employees. You need to take matters into your own hands and be your own safety advocate. This means stepping up and saying something when you’re in a dangerous situation. You might even find yourself confronting your supervisor and saying “no” when asked to the job in an inappropriate manner. While this can lead to serious repercussions, you need to remember that nothing is more important than your health.
Proper Personal Protective Equipment
If you have a dangerous occupation, then you’re probably familiar with PPE or personal protective equipment. Examples include things like hard hats, heavy duty gloves, and even steel-toed boots. You might have to wear a reflective safety vest while you’re working so that motorists or your fellow employees can see where you’re at in the dark. Your employers are required to supply you with the items that you need in order to do your job safely. If they don’t, then you might have recourse, especially if you’re injured on a worksite. You shouldn’t have to purchase your own safety gear.
OSHA regulations exist to ensure that workers have the right to a safe workplace. They produce numerous guidelines for different industries and even have a set of laws in place to protect whistleblowers. If you aren’t sure what the safety regulations are (although your employer should have them posted somewhere on the premises), you can always go to the OSHA website and look them up. You could also contact an expert who understands just what those regulations are and how they should be followed.
Being the Whistleblower
Stepping up and alerting the authorities about your workplace’s lack of safety regulations makes you a whistleblower. There are laws that have been put into place to protect you and those like you who are brave enough to stand up for their own safety. This doesn’t mean that your employers won’t sanction you, cut your work hours, dock your pay, or demote you as a punishment. These are all illegal actions, and you do have rights as a whistleblower that need to be protected.
When it comes to your safety, you shouldn’t be afraid to speak up and demand that your employer follows OSHA guidelines. You deserve the right to protect your health. After all, you need to be able to enjoy your free time outside of work. If you need to be the whistleblower, then, by all means, stand up and say something. The law is on your side.
Have You Been Injured At Work Or Reprimanded For Protecting Your Own Safety?
If you have been essentially punished for protecting your own safety while at work, then contact me. In addition, if your employer knowingly ignored safety protocols, leading to on the job injuries, I can help. It’s my job to ensure that you are fairly compensated for either looking out for your safety and that of your co-workers, or for the fact that you were hurt on the job. Too many employers overlook safety regulations in favor of getting the work done more quickly. This isn’t right, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®