If you work in an unsafe workplace, you may feel powerless to make change before you get injured yourself. Here are a few steps you can take to make the workplace less dangerous for everyone.
Talk to the Union, Safety Officer, or Human Resources
Even if no accidents have happened yet, report dangerous conditions to your union representative, any safety officers, or Human Resources. The right person to receive a report will vary depending on your workplace. When you make the report, ask what the union or company will do to fix the health or safety issue. If you do not get a satisfactory answer and nothing changes, consider further steps such as talking to a lawyer or filing an OSHA complaint.
If You See Something, Say Something
Do not wait until you or a coworker gets injured to do something. An accident at work could permanently disable or kill employees who have done nothing wrong. Employers need to ensure safe workplaces for their employees and provide appropriate training to prevent accidents.
If you witness an accident, report the accident to your employer and provide an accurate statement about what happened. If you were the sole witness and your employer says it does not need your statement, write it down yourself. That way, if the dangerous conditions continue, you have a record of what happened.
Encourage Your Coworkers to File Workers’ Compensation Claims
Word travels fast when a fellow employee gets injured on the job. Should you hear about an injured coworker or witness an accident, encourage the coworker to report the injury to your employer and make a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer cannot retaliate against your coworker for filing a claim under Minnesota law. (Minn. Stat. § 176.82.)
Consider Making an OSHA Complaint
Sometimes, employers do not know that unsafe conditions exist. Only employee reports will alert them. Sometimes, employers know the condition exist or create them themselves. In either situation, you can make a complaint to the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) to report unsafe workplace conditions. Employers cannot retaliate against you for making a complaint, and you have the right to a safe workplace.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.