The National Safety Council reports that every seven seconds, a worker is injured on the job in the U.S.
Some jobs and lines of work are inherently more dangerous than others. But even if you choose a more accident-prone job, you are entitled by law to have the risks and hazards explained to you by your employer. Your employer is required by law to provide a safe working environment. If your employer’s negligence or fault leads to workplace injuries, you can receive compensation in a personal injury case. But before things get to that level, sometimes you can prevent an injury by learning how to identify unusually dangerous work environments and situations where an employer is being negligent.
If you’re deciding on a new job opportunity or wondering if you should stay at your current job, it’s important to know just how safe the workplace in question is. Staying informed can make all the difference in your future wellbeing.
Any type of workplace can have its potential dangers. But industries related to construction, transportation and trucking, manufacturing and production, installation and repairs, and oilfields can be particularly perilous – especially if employers aren’t doing everything they can to provide a safe workplace.
Frequently, workplace injuries happen because of someone else’s negligence. But you might be able to avoid some unsafe working environments by knowing how to recognize hazards when you see them. In a legal case, you could also avoid potential blame for an accident if you call out unsafe working conditions. Above all, you deserve the right to health and safety at work!
Your employer is responsible for monitoring the health and safety conditions of your workplace, says ReliablePlant, and employers are subject to penalties if they neglect these duties.
Consider these points when evaluating the safety of your New Mexico workplace:
- Have you been informed about risks that go with your job?
- Does the employer prioritize safety?
- Are job hazards identified by your employer? Does your employer make an effort to control hazards?
- Are you (or a coworker) asked to work long hours that lead to stress or difficulty focusing at work? Does your employer pressure you to work overtime or log more hours than is legal?
- Do you know the legal number of hours you can be asked to work?
- Does your employer ask you to work during your breaks? Are you allowed breaks?
- Does the employer hire staff without the appropriate licenses, skills, and certifications?
- Are employees required to perform tasks – such as operate certain equipment – without the appropriate training? Do you feel like you have had adequate training to safely perform your job duties? Have you been instructed on how to operate machinery, handle dangerous materials, and lift heavy objects safely?
- Is there a safety training calendar? Is it adhered to?
- Are safety policies and emergency plans implemented and shared?
- Have you seen or heard about broken or malfunctioning equipment at the workplace?
- Is safety gear provided? Is it high quality, up to date, and in good working condition? Be wary of employers who provide cheap alternatives to standard safety gear such as goggles, helmets, and gloves.
- Are there regular safety audits?
- Does the employer (and your manager/supervisor) model correct safety behaviors?
- Does the company have a workers’ compensation insurance policy?
- Have you or a coworker developed a health problem during employment there? Symptoms such as breathing problems and frequent headaches which could indicate toxic chemicals, gas leaks, radiation, and other hazards.
- Have you or a coworker been injured at work?
- After a workplace injury or close call, did your employer investigate it and try to correct the problem?
- Does your employer carefully monitor the use of alcohol and drugs at the workplace? Are there measures that prevent employees from working while intoxicated?
- Does your employer provide a channel for feedback about job health and safety? Does your employer respond well to concerns from employees about health and safety?
- Do you know the OSHA regulations regarding your workplace or industry? Are they made available by your employer?
What If You Are Injured?
If you are injured at work in Albuquerque or develop an occupational illness, and you realize that your employer did not adhere to these above points or others, you can possibly use that in your personal injury case as evidence for their negligence or fault. Contact an Albuquerque personal injury lawyer like Brian K. Branch who is well-versed in New Mexico workplace injury law.
You’re entitled to receive compensation for your injuries. A personal injury attorney can help you evaluate evidence, identify negligence, and choose the best strategy for a successful case. Don’t fight this battle alone! Contact us today!