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How do I protect myself from unsafe working conditions?

Companies across the country are required to provide a safe work environment for their employees at all times. This is the case no matter where the work is being performed, such as in an office, in a vehicle, on a construction site or in a factory. So, how do I protect myself from unsafe working conditions?

One of the best ways to protect yourself from unsafe working conditions is to report any hazardous conditions as soon as they are discovered. The hazardous condition should be reported to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Workers have the right to refuse to work if they feel their life is in danger due to an unsafe working condition at their place of employment.

Employers are required to abide by the workplace safety standards created by OSHA in order to protect workers from unsafe working conditions. Employers can do this by completing the following:

- Posting an OSHA job safety notice in the workplace

- Providing employees a workplace free of safety and health hazards that can cause serious injury or death

- Provide necessary safety training

- Keep record of all injuries, exposure to hazardous materials and deaths that have occurred

If a safety hazard does not pose an imminent danger to you or any other employees, report it in writing to your employer as soon as it is discovered. If the employer fails to fix the safety hazard, you can file a complaint with OSHA.

Unsafe working conditions include any of the following:

- Lack of inspections

- Improperly maintained equipment

- Failing to post announcements from OSHA

- Poorly maintained injury records

- Failure to maintain warning systems (fire alarms, caution lights on equipment or entryways to quarantined areas)

Have you or a loved one suffered an injury due to unsafe working conditions? An experienced workers' compensation attorney can answer all of your questions about your injury and how to proceed with your case in Chicago.

Source: FindLaw, "Protecting Yourself from Unsafe Working Conditions," accessed May 16, 2017

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