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What to do if your workplace is unsafe

It is your right as an employee to have a safe environment in which to work. If you suspect that your workplace is unsafe and poses a dangerous risk to yourself or one of your colleagues, it is important to inquire more and potentially take action.

This blog focuses on how you will know whether your workplace is safe according to the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) and what steps you can take under the law if you believe that your workplace is not safe.

What is the OSH Act?

The OSH Act is a statute that protects workers and creates regulations to ensure that a workplace is regarded as safe - that is, free from dangerous circumstance that could potentially cause injury, illness and death.

What should people do if they think that their workplace is unsafe?

If you think that you or another worker may be in immediate danger because of unsafe working conditions, it is very important that you report this to OSHA. The affected worker has the right to refuse work if:

  • There is reason to believe that you are in imminent danger of serious illness, injury or death
  • You have informed your employer and they have not remedied the situation
  • The danger is so imminent that you do not have time to report the situation to the OSHA
  • There was no alternative than to stop work

Legal guidance

If you would like learn more about workplace injuries from a legal standpoint, it is important to seek trusted advice.

Source: FindLaw, "Protecting yourself from unsafe working conditions," accessed July 28, 2017

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