How To Address Health And Safety Concerns With Your Employer

Photo by Anamul Rezwan from Pexels
The recent and extremely tragic shooting on the Rust film set reminds us just how important workplace health and safety are. Despite some crew members having safety concerns before the fatal shooting, nothing was reported, and filming continued. The incident is now under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). However, it does beg the question, could this terrible incident have been prevented if someone had spoken up earlier? Workplace health and safety is, after all, everyone’s responsibility. Raising safety concerns with your employer can make all the difference in preventing an accident from occurring.

Do Your Research And Know Your Rights

The OSHA frequently updates workplace safety standards and regulations, so be sure to check that you have the most up-to-date information when doing your research. You are also entitled to submit an anonymous OSHA complaint and have legal protection under the federal Whistleblower Protection Program from any employer retaliation. However, your first step should be to speak to your supervisor to discuss your concerns and present any ideas you have to improve the unsafe conditions. As an employee, you also have the right to access safety-related information, safety test results, and records of work-related injuries and illnesses.

Follow The Chain Of Command

You have every right as an employee to voice your concerns over safety to your manager. After all, you are legally entitled to work with safe machinery, receive appropriate safety equipment and workplace health and safety training. If you have a specific concern about workplace safety, you should report it by following the chain of command. This means initially approaching your immediate supervisor about it. If it is not something they can personally deal with, you should take it to the next level up. If your workplace has an organized union, it’s a good idea to also talk to your shop steward about the issue too.

Get Assistance From The OSHA

If you aren’t satisfied after speaking with your employer about your safety concerns, you can request an on-site visit from an OSHA inspector who will be able to assess and determine the safety of your working conditions and is not required to reveal that you contacted them. However, if you believe that you and your coworkers are in imminent danger, you must contact OSHA immediately. Depending on the situation, you may be legally entitled to refuse to work until the situation is rectified. Remember, all employers are required under federal law to provide their employees with a safe working environment that is free from health and safety hazards.
No one should feel unsafe at work or that their health is in jeopardy. While it’s the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all staff, if they are failing at this duty or not aware there is an issue then there are steps that an employee can take to help to ensure safe practices are being followed and prevent something terrible from happening.

Help Keep Big Easy Magazine Alive

Hey guys!

Covid-19 is challenging the way we conduct business. As small businesses suffer economic losses, they aren’t able to spend money advertising.

Please donate today to help us sustain local independent journalism and allow us to continue to offer subscription-free coverage of progressive issues.

Thank you,
Scott Ploof
Big Easy Magazine

Share this Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *