Unsafe Working Conditions And Your Legal Rights
Your workplace simply must have safe working conditions. However, according to the United States Department of Labor, approximately 15 deaths are caused every day due to unsafe working conditions at the workplace. As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the private employment industry accounted for 2.8 million non-fatal injuries in 2019. The right to safe working conditions is protected under federal as well as state law. Yet, oftentimes, employers do not fulfill their obligations to provide a safe working environment to their employees. If you suffered injuries due to unsafe working conditions, learn how a Minnesota unsafe working conditions lawyer at Tyroler Injury Law at 651-259-1113 can help you understand all of your legal rights.
Recognizing Unsafe Working Conditions
Unsafe working conditions include situations where a worker is exposed to the imminent threat of injury or death, or dangerous physical conditions at the workplace. Some of the common types of unsafe working conditions include the following:
Faulty Tools and Equipment
Defective or poor quality work equipment can lead to workplace accidents and result in serious injuries or fatalities. Equipment that has worn out over a period of time can also cause accidents.
Inadequate Safety or Protection
Some industries such as the construction, fire department, or mining industry are inherently dangerous and require proper safety gear for the workers. If the employer does not provide adequate or quality safety gear, the worker may remain exposed to the threat of serious injuries.
Unsafe Working Premises
Lack of fire safety systems, a contaminated or toxic atmosphere, workplace congestion, poor quality furniture, poor housekeeping, or an unhygienic workplace can also lead to workplace injuries.
Employers have a responsibility to provide proper training to their workers for using specialized tools or equipment. Injuries resulting from improper training can make an employer liable for any resulting injuries or losses to workers.
Unsafe Working Conditions and Federal Law
Workplace safety is taken seriously by the government and the law provides for employer obligations and employee rights to ensure workplace safety. Workplace injuries include conditions caused, aggravated, or accelerated by employment activities. At the federal level, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) mandates certain workplace standards. OSHA provides employees certain rights relating to:
- One-time injuries at the workplace.
- An illness developed due to unsafe working conditions including constant exposure to chemicals or toxic substances.
- Recognized hazards that have the potential to cause injury or death.
OSHA provides these rights to employees to ensure workplace safety:
- Right to be provided protective equipment free of charge.
- Right to receive training on health and safety standards.
- Right to get information about the workplace including the right to know about probable chemical hazards, right to exposure data, right to get copies of workplace injury.
- Right to file a complaint with OSHA and right to request on-site OSHA inspection.
- Right to refuse the performance of a job duty if the working conditions are unsafe.
OSHA requires employers to:
- Display an OSHA job safety notice at the workplace.
- Provide a workplace free from dangerous working conditions that can lead to injury or death.
- Provide safety training if necessary.
- Keep a record of injuries, deaths and hazardous material exposure at the workplace.
If you suffered injuries due to unsafe working conditions or if your employer failed to provide you with safe working conditions, learn how a Minnesota unsafe working conditions lawyer at Tyroler Injury Law at 651-259-1113 can help you with your case.
Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Act (MNOSHA)
In Minnesota, employers have a duty to provide a safe workplace to their employees. The Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Act also protects employees from non-discrimination or raising or reporting a workplace safety issue. MNOSHA comprises of two programs to ensure workplace safety:
It requires employers to comply with the federal OSHA requirements as well as other compliance requirements under MNOSHA.
MNOSHA Workplace Safety Consultation
Under this program, MNOSHA works with employers and employees to guide them on improving workplace safety.
Steps to Take After Suffering a Workplace Injury
If you suffered injuries at your workplace, consider taking the following steps:
- Seek immediate medical attention. Inform your doctor that the injury is work-related. This will later help you in your injury claim.
- Report your injury to your employer in writing with all the relevant details. The employer should provide you with a First Report of Injury (FROI) form.
- Preserve and note down all important records and documents including medical records, date of the injury, and effect on your daily life.
- Communicate with your employer regularly to provide important updates regarding your injury.
- Consider contacting a Minnesota unsafe working conditions lawyer to help you better understand all of your legal options.
Determination of Liability
Multiple parties can be held responsible for a workplace injury. These include the following:
- Employer: The employer has the first and foremost duty to ensure employee safety at the workplace.
- Manufacturers of faulty equipment: If the injury was caused due to faulty equipment, the manufacturer can be held liable.
- Contractors and subcontractors: If the employer hired some contractors to work on the same project and they provided unsafe working conditions to the employee, they can also be held responsible.
- Property owner or manager: If the injury was a result of unsafe premises, then the property owner or manager can also be held accountable.
Visiting with an attorney can help you better understand which of these parties may have a legal responsibility to compensate you for your injuries and losses.
Compensation for a Workplace-Related Injury
Every workplace-related accident will have its own set of facts and circumstances. However, you may be entitled to receive the following types of compesnation if you suffered an injury due to unsafe working conditions:
- Loss of wages
- Medical bills
- Compensation the loss of body part
- Medical benefits for present and future expenses
- Vocational rehabilitation
Types of Claims for Injuries Due to Unsafe Working Conditions
In addition to a workers’ compensation claim, the victim of a workplace-related injury may file the following types of claims:
- Personal Injury Claim for injury caused due to negligence.
- Premises liability claim for injuries caused due to faulty office space, building, or premises.
- Product liability claim for faulty or defective equipment.
Learn How a Minnesota Unsafe Working Conditions Attorney Can Help
Filing a claim for an injury or death due to unsafe working conditions can be a challenging and complex task. Employers have access to the best resources to defend themselves, multiple parties can be involved, and the victim may be entitled to compensation from more than one party. If you suffered injuries due to unsafe working conditions, consider contacting our legal team to understand how a Minnesota unsafe working conditions attorney at Tyroler Injury Law at 651-259-1113 can help you secure your legal rights.