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Know Your Workplace Safety Rights

The U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights are revered as powerful, articulate descriptions of the rights we all possess. The United States Department of Labor wants you to know that your rights don't stop at freedom of speech or freedom of the press, however.

You have rights in the workplace, too. The Labor Department says in clear terms that you have the right, under federal law, to a safe workplace. "Your employer must provide a workplace free of known health and safety hazards," the department says.

And if you have concerns about safety hazards where you work, you also have the right to express those concerns without fear of retaliation.

Your other workplace rights include:

  • Training in a language you understand
  • You must be provided required safety gear (gloves, helmet, harness, etc.)
  • Protection from toxic chemicals
  • Machines that are safe to operate
  • Be able to report a job-related injury or illness
  • Be allowed to see records of job-related injuries and illnesses

Just as you have a right to a safe workplace, your employer has a responsibility to provide a safe place to work.

OSHA also encourages businesses to create injury and illness prevention plans. The agency said not only do such plans benefits workers, but they benefit the employers as well.

When a work-related illness or injury occurs, you also have the right to New York workers' compensation. Unfortunately, there are employers and insurers who will try to deny you earned and deserved workers' comp. In those situations, you can speak to a Newburgh attorney experienced in workers' compensation appeals.

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