Wednesday, June 8, 2016
Despite the fact that injuries can occur in any line of work, they are more common and more serious in the construction industry compared to other industries. This is due to the nature of the industry that involves a lot of risks. Just in the same manner employees in other industries have the right of compensation while they recover from injuries, those in the construction field also have rights of compensation if an injury occurs, according to construction injury laws. The most unfortunate thing is that these rights are often ignored not just by the employers, but even the people involved in accidents. The victims can take legal action against the people whose actions lead to their injury.
OSHA and the workers' right to a safe workplace in construction
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Act) exists to ensure that workplace hazards are reduced as it promotes safety in the construction industry. Injury lawyers are in the best position to help you understand your rights under OSHA, but having a basic knowledge is also good.
Rights and duties of an employee under OSHA
An employee should check if the employer has met available necessary standards, rules, regulations, and requirements in a workplace. He needs to get access to necessary employee exposure and medical records. An employee can request the OSHA area director to conduct an inspection in a workplace in case he is convinced that the conditions in the workplace are hazardous; the inspection should be done by a compliance officer in the presence of an employee representative.
An employee has the right to get a copy of tests and inspections done at a workplace in line with safety. The name of any employee who files a written complaint with OSHA regarding workplace safety should not be shared with an employer. He should not suffer any discrimination or retaliation from an employer in regards to a safety complaint. The employee should review records of injuries and illnesses related to the work.
Responsibilities of the employer under OSHA
It is the employer’s duty to ensure that the workplace is free from recognized hazards and should make sure all employees use tools and equipment for safety. It is also his responsibility to ensure that employees are informed of the OSHA safety and health standards related to the place of work.
An employer must place the OSHA official poster that outlines the rights and responsibilities under the OSHA Act, in a prominent place. He should also set up a written and comprehensive hazard communication program, which entails things such as labeling of containers, material safety data sheets, and training program for employees.
The employer should provide the employee with safety training in a language the employee is conversant with. It is the responsibility of the employer to inform employees of where their medical and exposure records are on the day an employee starts working, do the same at least once every year, and upon request by the employee. A construction injury attorney can help you when you are injured in a construction site.
Suffering an injury while working in a construction site is hard enough, it is important to know your rights and responsibilities in the same. An injury law firm in New Hampshire can assist you with the same, so that you get the right compensation.
By Joseph M. Annutto