For some businesses in Augusta, GA, job safety stops being a priority around the holidays, their only focus being to boost productivity and increase their profits. Their employees often end up working overtime in dangerous conditions. This increases their chances of getting a work injury caused by reduced efforts in job safety. When this happens, who is to blame?
Few have the courage to complain and fight for their rights. Some are afraid of losing their jobs, others fear bureaucracy, and quite a few are unaware of their rights and the steps they should follow in order to defend them. But the fact is, in case of work injury, Augusta employers have to cover the cost of their recovery and reimburse them for any lost income or abilities.
All companies in Georgia and, implicitly, Augusta, have to adhere to the OSHA Standards and to the Public Employee Hazardous Chemical Protection and Right to Know Act. While the purpose of the latter law is to make sure employers notify their employees of any chemical hazards in their workplace, the former covers many more aspects, worth reviewing in the following lines.
Employer Duties and Employee Rights When It Comes to Job Safety in Augusta, Georgia
Instead of risking the chance of their employees getting a work injury, Augusta employers should take measures to prevent accidents and ensure a safe and healthy work environment. Depending on the specifics of their job responsibilities, this may mean:
- Installing fans and/or ventilators to prevent fume inhalation
- Providing their employees with protective equipment to prevent chemicals absorption through the skin, electrocution, and other work hazards
- Installing alarms and sensors to identify dangerous substance leaks and warn about their existence
- Setting up showers to allow employees handling dangerous substances to clean up before leaving their workplace
- Scheduling periodic and free health screenings to detect and treat health problems early
- Making sure all tools and equipment function properly and replacing or repairing those that don’t
- Examining workplace conditions regularly and taking measures to improve them when necessary
- Warning employees of potential hazards using color codes, posters, and warning signals
- Establishing and implementing strict operating procedures and communication protocols to minimize risks
- Evaluating and training employees in a language they can understand regarding safety measures and procedures
- Adopting an Injury and Illness Prevention Program based on workers’ participation, management leadership, hazard identification, prevention, and control, education and training, program evaluation and improvement.
Thus, in order to be safe and avoid work injury, Augusta workers should benefit from: training in a language they know and understand, safety gear, access to properly functioning machines, protection against toxic chemicals, and more. In cases where these things are not provided to employees, they have the right to: complain without fearing retaliation, report work injuries and illnesses, see available data on previous workplace injuries, request workplace inspections, and obtain copies of any tests or measurements performed to identify workplace standards.
Reporting Failure to Ensure Job Safety: Augusta Workers’ Compensation Attorney Services
In theory, employees who believe the conditions they work in are dangerous or unhealthy should discuss their dissatisfaction with their employer. If they do not take measures to improve workplace conditions, the employees can submit a complaint to OSHA or the Department of Labor.
In practice, it takes time for the inspections to take place, and there are no guarantees the inspectors will conclude that anything is wrong and take measures against the employer. Although the OSHA standards prohibit it, the employer may try to retaliate against the employee who reported their job safety concerns.
Moreover, even if the inspection takes place and it brings about penalties for the employer, it will not necessarily lead to an improvement of one’s work conditions. Employees who want to make sure their complaint is not in vain should contact an Augusta workers’ compensation attorney and schedule a preliminary consultation.
Most attorneys provide this consultation for free. During it, the employees can describe their situation, find out if they have a case, and what steps they need to follow next. They can ask questions and discuss payment details. This is a great way to know where you stand and what options you have so you can make the best decision for your interests.
In cases regarding job safety, Augusta attorneys usually focus on collecting workplace evidence, finding witnesses, and documenting the employer’s previous OSHA standards, violations, and workers’ compensation cases. This way, when filing a complaint, they have more than one employee’s word to rely on. The more evidence one has against the employer, the higher one’s chances are to obtain a favorable verdict and corresponding compensation.
Consult with an Augusta, Georgia Work Injury Attorney Today
When their quest for profits and increased productivity compromises job safety and leads to work injury, Augusta employers deserve to pay. To find out how to make yours pay, speak with an Augusta workers compensation lawyer at Ted A. Greve & Associates! With our help, you and your colleagues can begin to enjoy the holiday spirit at work.