What Can Employees Do About Dangerous Work Conditions?

Unsafe working conditions refer to any area or work practice that can lead to a risk of injury, illness, or death.

No one should have to work in hazardous conditions. Unfortunately, many people do because their employers either blatantly disregard safety regulations or don’t know how to create a safe workplace. If you are one of these employees, it is important to understand that you have rights. Let’s discuss what you can do if your workplace has unsafe or unhealthy working conditions.

construction safety equipment

What are Unsafe Conditions?

Unsafe working conditions refer to any area or work practice that can lead to a risk of injury, illness, or death. Unsafe working condition hazards can be grouped into the following categories:

Ergonomic hazards:  These hazards are related to how you do your job and include awkward postures, repetitive motions, or heavy lifting. These hazards can cause injuries to muscles, nerves, tendons, and joints. 

Chemical hazards: Chemical hazards can cause a variety of health problems, including skin and respiratory irritation, organ damage, cancer, and death. Some common chemical hazards include solvents, cleaners, corrosives, and metals. These hazards can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin.

Biological hazards: Biological hazards can cause a variety of illnesses, including flu-like symptoms, skin rashes, and food poisoning. Some common biological hazards include bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Psychosocial health issues: Sometimes referred to as “work stress,” these hazards include long work hours, high workloads, and conflicts with co-workers or supervisors. These hazards can cause stress-related illnesses, including cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal disorders. 

Physical environmental hazards: These hazards can affect your safety and health in various ways, including exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures, excessive noise levels, radiation, and poor indoor air quality. 

What to Do If Your Workplace Has Unsafe Conditions?

If you’re worried about the safety at your workplace, follow these steps:

  1. Talk to your supervisor or employer. The first step is to talk to your supervisor about the situation. They may not be aware of the dangers present in the workplace, and they may be willing to work with you to make things safer. Also, inform your co-workers about the situation so that they can be aware of potential hazards.
  1. File a complaint. If talking to your supervisor or employer doesn’t help, or if they are the source of the problem, you may consider filing a complaint with OSHA.

When filing your complaint, be sure to include the following information:

  • Your name and contact information (unless you want to remain anonymous)
  • The location of the workplace
  • A description of the unsafe conditions or hazardous practices at your workplace, including any injuries that may have occurred as a result.

You can generally submit your complaint online, by phone, or via mail.

St. Louis Work Injury Lawyer

If you were injured at the workplace due to unsafe conditions, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Contact The Law Office of James M. Hoffman today and let us help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

Updated: October 14, 2022