Workers may often feel like they are under their employer’s thumb and cannot question or challenge any of the unsafe or dangerous decisions made by their employers, but this is not the case. Massachusetts employees, along with those across the country, have various rights that they can enforce to ensure their workplace is free from hazards.
Perhaps the most important right they have is that of a workplace without any harm. Additionally, they have the right to be given instructions and information in a language they understand. This information could be about workplace hazards, how to avoid them and the standards that apply to them. Similarly, they also have the right to inspect records of workplace injuries and illness. If the workplace does indeed pose a risk, they have the right to file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration confidentially and OSHA will inspect the workplace as a result.
OSHA has been created to ensure that employees are working in safe and healthy working conditions by setting and enforcing standards related to the workplace and supplementing them with outreach, training and assistance. It is also possible to file a complaint of retaliation by an employer with OSHA but it is important to do so as soon as possible. Employers have the right to file complaints and report injuries without retaliation and OSHA works hard to protect that right.
Getting injured in a workplace accident has serious repercussions, not only financially but also emotionally if an employer contests the injury or workers’ compensation claim. Since everyone is primarily interested in protecting their own rights, injured workers should also take all steps possible to protect their interests. Consulting with an experienced attorney might be helpful in this regard.