Did you know about 1.8 million workers were treated in the emergency room for work-related injuries in 2020?
With these numbers, the question that most people will ask is who is responsible for safety in the workplace? The answer is that it’s a shared responsibility.
The employer has a duty to provide a safe workplace and ensure that employees are properly trained on how to avoid hazards. Employees have a duty not only to follow all safety rules but also to report any unsafe conditions they encounter. And OSHA has a role in assuring that employers provide safe workplaces and train employees.
In this article, we’ll look at the different roles that employers, employees, and OSHA play in creating a safe workplace.
The Employer’s Role in Workplace Safety
First, let’s look at the employer’s responsibility for creating a safe workplace.
The employer should provide a safe environment for its employees and those who visit the workplace regularly. This means that they must ensure that all equipment is properly maintained and that all equipment used by employees is in good working order.
They must also provide adequate training for each employee and any visitors who may come into contact with dangerous equipment during their time at work.
This does not mean that an employee can’t be injured while on the job. But it means management or supervisors should prevent those accidents as much as possible. You can do this through a workplace safety guide, good maintenance practices, proper training, and supervision.
You can also hold a company liable if they fail to provide adequate safety equipment.
For example, if you are required by law to wear a hard hat when working with heavy machinery but your employer does not supply one, then they could face penalties for their negligence. If you are injured because of this failure, then you may recover compensation for your injuries and other damages through a personal injury lawsuit.
You can give your workplace safety a boost by using this SDS system.
The Employee’s Role in Workplace Safety
The employee is also responsible for safety in the workplace.
It is the employee’s responsibility to know what the hazards are in their work environment. It is their responsibility to use the right protective equipment, follow safety procedures, and report accidents or problems.
If you do not use proper safety equipment, follow the procedures, and report accidents or problems, then you could be responsible for your injuries. If the employee is in a management position, he or she may also be liable if they knew about the hazard but did not correct it.
This does not mean that employees have to be perfect. If they made an honest mistake and took reasonable precautions, then they will still have an excellent case against their employer.
One workplace safety tip is to report accidents as soon as possible so that they can be investigated and prevented from happening again. Employees should also report any equipment failures, problems with safety guards, or other issues that could cause injury.
If the injury results in death, then the family of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim against the employer. The family may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, and lost wages.
OSHA’s Role in Workplace Safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) requires employers to provide a safe place to work for their employees. The employer must also provide training about safety procedures and policies.
Many states have OSHA offices that enforce state regulations on workplace safety. They also investigate accidents and injuries that occur at work.
The OSHA office will look into whether the employer followed all of its own policies regarding safety in the workplace. If they were negligent or did not follow their own policies, they could be fined or even shut down completely if there are too many violations found during inspections.
The OSHA office will also investigate whether the employer had safety procedures in place to begin with. If there were no safety procedures, then the state may fine them for negligence.
If you were hurt while on the job, it is important that you report your injury as soon as possible. OSHA will investigate further into whether your employer should face any penalties for failing to keep their workplace safe for employees.
Safety in the Workplace Is the Responsibility of All of Us
Safety in the workplace is the responsibility of all of us. It’s up to each of us to make sure that our co-workers and ourselves are safe and free from harm.
Safety in the workplace is a team effort, and it begins with you. If you see something unsafe, report it to your supervisor. If your supervisor doesn’t take action, contact OSHA or another agency that handles workplace safety complaints.
Who Is Responsible for Safety in the Workplace? We All Are
So, who is responsible for safety in the workplace?
As companies realize how safety can directly influence their bottom line, it’s vital that we all work on implementing new programs, procedures, and ideas to make the workplace as safe as possible.
Of course, this doesn’t just apply to business owners and managers. Every employee has a role to play in ensuring the safety of their workplace. When everyone works together toward this common goal, then we’ll all be better off in the end.
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Alison Lurie is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry. She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things.