If you have a warehouse job, you know your work environment can be dangerous. Fortunately, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has laws in place to protect all employees. Here’s what you need to know about your safety rights.
You Have the Right to a Safe Workplace
Certainly, there are potential hazards in any warehouse. Therefore, no one can guarantee a 100% safety record. What OSHA does require is an environment “free of known health and safety hazards.” For example, if your supervisor knows a storage shelf is unstable and does nothing to correct it, this would be a known hazard.
You Have the Right to Know the Risks
How dangerous is your workplace? According to OSHA, you may ask. Companies must keep logs of injuries and illnesses. And, you can review those records at any time.
You Have the Right to Proper Training
Proper training helps to prevent accidents. But sadly, some organizations don’t take training programs as seriously as others. Nonetheless, if you feel unsure about a situation (such as operating a piece of equipment or handling chemicals), you can ask for additional instructions.
You Have the Right to Safety Equipment
Under OSHA regulations, employers must provide employees with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). And companies, not individuals, are responsible for the cost. Keep in mind though; this rule only applies to required safety gear. If you choose to wear something optional, like a back brace, you may have to buy it yourself.
You Have the Right to Report an Injury or Illness
Businesses can’t ignore accidents. When organizations fail to follow through on an injury or illness, individual employees have the right to file their own reports. And, if you were involved in the accident, you can request copies of your medical records as well.
You Have the Right to File a Complaint
Hopefully, when you let your manager know about a safety issue, they will listen and act. However, this isn’t always the case. As a result, OSHA makes it possible for all workers to file a confidential safety and health complaint. If you have a valid concern that your company ignores, you may submit an online form, fax/mail/email a complaint, call OSHA directly or visit the nearest office. An OSHA representative will either schedule an inspection or directly address the situation. Either way, they will not mention your name.
You Have Protection from Retaliation
Sometimes, people don’t say anything about a safety problem because they are afraid. They are scared they may be fired or retaliated against. Once again, OSHA seeks to protect workers against this illegal practice. If you believe your employer punished you because you tried to correct a safety issue, you may file a whistleblower complaint. There are time limits in place, so be sure to visit the OSHA website for more details.
Do You Wish You Worked in a Safer Warehouse?
If you are looking to join a more safety-conscientious organization, FirstStaff can help. We place warehouse associates, and line leads in Conway, Arkansas and beyond. Browse our current openings and find your next right-fit opportunity today!