There are many employers throughout the country who place a premium on highly skilled employees who are happy to do their jobs every day. However, there are also employers who do not always put their employees' health and safety at the forefront of their decision making. As a result, dangerous work accidents are still a part of life for employees in a variety of different employment sectors. But, are employers actually required to provide a safe work environment for their employees?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Act, a law that was passed by the United States Congress in 1970, the answer is a resounding "yes." There is a specific section of the law which mandates that employers provide a work environment that is free from recognizable hazards that could potentially result in injury or death. The law also states that employers are to comply with all of the regulations that are promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
As was noted, this law was passed 45 years ago. But, do workplace accidents still occur? Absolutely. Are all workplace accidents the fault of employer negligence? Not necessarily, but many of these accidents certainly involve unsafe working environments and other issues that an employer could likely address to make the area of work safer.
When a person is injured in an accident on the job, they may be faced with a number of difficulties. First, they may be unable to work for a certain period of time, meaning that they will lose wages. Next, they may believe that if they report the injury they could face some sort of retaliation from their employer. However, the law protects employees and recognizes that a safe working environment is just one of many critical protections provided to employees.
Source: United States Department of Labor, "OSHA," Accessed Aug. 23, 2015