What Can Workers Do to Address Unsafe Working Conditions?
There's an old adage most people know: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The law allows injured workers in Texas to file a workers comp claim to recover compensation from work-related injuries in San Antonio, etc. However, those injuries can cause considerable pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, loss of mobility, and other detrimental effects. Thus, whenever possible it's better to address potential safety hazards with an employer before an injury occurs. To that end, there are some steps you can take to bring concerns forward and improve workplace safety.
Report the problem immediately. Whether it's defective equipment, unsafe work behaviors, lack of proper equipment/tools, code deficiency, etc., put it in writing. Submit the report through the designated "chain of command" and stay on top of it.
Make sure to do your research before submitting your report. This will help you reference the applicable OSHA standards, company policies, regulatory requirements, etc. The more you know, the stronger your report.
Avoid Complaints & Criticism
Your goal is positive action and resolution; not fodder for watercooler gossip. Complaints and criticisms may well be warranted but will cause the manager, etc. to put up a defensive brick wall. Instead, approaching it from a standpoint of concern coupled with reasonable suggestions for resolution can encourage a manager, etc. to take action.
Whether the issue is a colleague flagrantly violating safety procedures or a machine that is not properly serviced and secured, you are not the only person who sees the potential safety risk. Speaking with colleagues and encouraging them to submit parallel reports can strengthen the validity of your position and improve the likelihood that an employer will take the appropriate corrective action.
Not every employer will respond, no matter how valid or polite your report and request. When employers deliberately neglect safety standards and established safety protocols, workers in Texas can file OSHA complaints and take other legal steps to protect themselves. Employees who file OSHA complaints are protected by Federal law from retaliation including any reduction in pay or hours, termination, workplace harassment, etc.
The team at Welmaker Injury Law is always ready to answer your questions about workers comp in Texas. We invite you to contact our team at (726) 828-6033. We can also help you prepare an effective safety report or OSHA claim to help prevent injuries before they occur.