December 21, 2016
Reporting Unsafe Working Conditions
By Jonathan Damashek
We all have the right to work in a safe environment, free of hazards and with the necessary equipment to avoid putting our lives at risk. Unfortunately, work accidents often occur because this right is not protected, the necessary precautions are not taken, or existing dangers or unsafe working conditions are not eliminated or controlled.
According to OSHA, some of the most common accidents at construction sites include falls, being struck by objects, getting caught in or between objects, and electrocutions. Workers can take steps to avoid injuries, but many times, their safety depends upon on their employers.
On the one hand, employers must execute proper inspections daily to prevent injuries and illnesses. On the other, it is key that workers speak-up and report existing hazard at work sites that can endanger the lives of fellow employees and others.
Many workers are afraid of reporting these issues, because they think that by doing so, they might lose their jobs. Fortunately, the State of New York has tools that workers can use to anonymously report an unsafe working condition which are explained below.
Here’s what workers need to do when they encounter an unsafe condition:
- Report the unsafe condition to a supervisor. Many times, hazards are eliminated or controlled very quickly without the necessity of making too much noise.
- If your supervisor does not take the necessary actions to eliminate these issues, you can contact an agency anonymously and file a “Safety and Health” Complaint. If the matter is urgent, or the hazard is life-threatening, you should call 800-321-OSHA. If it is not life threatening or urgent, you can file this form online.
Do not report a hazard without letting your supervisor know first. It might be more efficient than waiting for the agency to take the proper actions. We urge workers to report unsafe conditions. Your safety and that of your co-workers may depend on you taking responsibility. If you, or a family member, is a victim of a work-site accident, contact us immediately for a free consultation.