Every employer has a legal responsibility to ensure the workplace is safe for their employees. However, some employers do not take this responsibility seriously, resulting in an increased risk of injury or death to employees. Here are just seven common types of unsafe working conditions you may find in your workplace:
Lack of fall protection
Falling injuries are among the most common types of injuries seen in the workplace, with construction workers being especially at risk. However, anyone can be at risk of falling, especially if employers fail to install guardrails, safety nets, or other fall protections.
Failure to provide personal protective equipment (PPE)
Another one of the more common types of unsafe working conditions involves failing to provide personal protective equipment, or PPE for short. This is essential for any job that regularly handles dangerous equipment or materials, including many construction and factory workers, as well as people in the healthcare industry.
Lack of functional lighting
A failure to install or maintain lighting is an often missed but critical type of unsafe working conditions. When an area is not well lit, it is easier for people to have accidents, especially late at night. Poorly lit areas also are appealing to wannabe criminals, who may take it as an opportunity to rob or assault unsuspecting employees.
Poor maintenance of facilities or equipment
Equipment and facilities need to be well-maintained to be safe to use, but doing so can be expensive, so some employers will put it off as long as possible. When employers fail to ensure everything is safe to use, it can often be the employees who pay the price, in terms of increased risk of accidents.
Failure to provide safety training
Unsafe working conditions are not just about the location or equipment, but also training. Employees should always be trained to handle equipment safely, and should know what to do in the event someone is injured by the equipment. Without this training, the risks of an on-the-job accident go up substantially.
Failure to post signs about known safety hazards
Almost every workplace has its hazards, ranging in severity from slippery floors due to regular mopping, to the handling of caustic, flammable, or toxic chemicals and materials. When these safety hazards are not signposted, people are at a much higher risk of accidentally injuring themselves, creating unsafe working conditions.
Failure to implement a fire safety plan
Every workplace should have a fire safety plan to ensure people can safely escape in the event of a fire. When employers fail to put such a plan in place, or worse, take steps to make it harder for people to escape a fire, they create unsafe working conditions.
Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer with more than 42 years’ experience handling the many aspects of employment law. His new book, “Fired!: Protect Your Rights & FIGHT BACK If You’re Terminated, Laid Off, Downsized, Restructured, Forced to Resign or Quit,” is available in hardback, and contains valuable advice on dealing with employment and labor law issues. To purchase the book, feel free to contact Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or visit the website at legalstratpub.com. To inquire about a legal matter, please feel free to contact attorney Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.