While some jobs are easy and safe, others could literally kill you quickly or slowly. It all depends on the conditions under which you carry out your job duties. While one mine worker could be completely safe thanks to the protective measures of his employer, one house help could be facing mortal danger every other day. As a worker, you have the right to protect yourself. You should be discerning enough to identify conditions that are good for work and the deadly ones. The following are excellent and effective ways through which you should protect yourself if you work in a dangerous environment.
- Identify possible threats.
Your working conditions and employment demands can put you at the risk of death via disease or injury. You should be careful enough to observe the effects of everything about your working environment. You should not cast a blind eye on the instructions or demands that put you at harm’s way. In a move to reduce the deaths and injuries of industrial workers, the government once legislated a statute that established the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration enforces the Act and even sets workplace standards for various job descriptions and workplaces. If you are well conversant with the workplace policies of your employer, compare and contrast them with that of your state or federal standards.
Furthermore, you can follow the following procedure to gauge just how safe you are. Start by assessing every job place hazard that you identify by estimating the consequence it could cause and the likelihood of the consequence transpiring. That way, you set aside the high and extreme risks from the low and medium risks.
- Refuse high-risk work.
Your employer is forbidden from coercing you into putting yourself in high health or safety risks. According to industrial labor laws, an employer does not have the right to retaliate in any way when an employee refuses dangerous work. You should not feel pressured into dangerous work unless the danger isn’t one of urgency. For example, if you determine that prolonged exposure to harmful fumes could lead to the manifestation of a disease, you should not refuse to work on the first day of realization. Instead, you should try to remove the hazard while fixing it. However, if the hazard isn’t neutralized in a few days, you should refuse to work because it would constitute as prolonged exposure. If the prevailing hazard could lead to instant fatal injuries, however, you should refuse the work from the get-go until the threat is eliminated. For example, you should never agree to work in an environment if some live electrical wires are exposed. Such a hazard could lead to fatal electrocution. Your employer won’t have the right to punish you through remuneration cuts, job dismissals or demotions. However, you will have to prove a few things should you require the intervention of state or federal agencies in case your employer decides to retaliate. You must prove that:
- The hazard could not allow you to wait for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to come and inspect the working conditions.
- You politely and solemnly requested your employer to eliminate the imminent danger.
- You refused to work in good faith.
- Remained in safer areas of the work site until the employer ordered you to leave.
Whenever you refuse dangerous work, you should proceed to request for some other safer assignments. You should also request your employer to neutralize the hazards. If your employers wrongfully act against you economically for exercising your right, law courts can compel them to pay you for any consequent damages including lost wages.
- Deal with safety and health hazards.
For as long as you remain an employee, you have the responsibility to improve your employers’ premises to the best of your employable ability. Therefore, you should carry out simple repairs and interventions to make your working environment safe. Remember, you should start by classifying the evident risks and hazards into the likelihood of them occurring and the damage they could cause. Some of the ways through which you can deal with safety concerns include:
- Gathering as much information as possible through risk assessment.
- Developing realistic solutions for subsequent implementation.
- Reporting the official corrected state of the hazard.
- Paying heed to all safety protocols of an employer.
- Wear personal protective equipment.
It does not matter whether you are a farmer, doctor, gold mine digger or construction worker when it comes to protecting yourself. People who work in fume factories must wear the protective gears that cover your entire body and allow you to breathe through clan oxygen containers. While doctors may only need gloves and scrubs, construction workers need big boots and hard hats. They also need ropes and other securing equipment.
- Sue employers.
If you work in a highly risky industry, you can really benefit if only you could put the best firm for workers compensation claims on retainer. High-risk workplaces could cause you immeasurable pain and losses. However, that is only if the risks manifest and bring about serious disease, onetime or permanent and career changing injuries. When the worst happens, you will need a lot of financing to offset your medical bills. Apart from the health care costs, you must lose some ample work-time. Hopefully, you did not incur a permanent disability that could harm your employability. While that may attract lucrative settlement amounts, it really isn’t a desirable outcome for people who trust their working capabilities. Still, it is a really great way through which to protect yourself when working in high-risk places. If you are going to get hurt, make sure that your employer’s insurance pays for it. Furthermore, if you accidentally lose your working capabilities while on the job, make sure that the employer’s insurance company takes care of you when you will be missing out on your regular employment wages.
December 11, 2018