Pennsylvania workers should be able to expect a reasonable level of safety when on the job, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration oversees this concern on a national level. OSHA regulations provide a guide for employers to ensure that work conditions are safe for those in their employ. Employers are required to provide a workplace that is free of significant hazards and comply with applicable federal and state law.
One aspect of ensuring a safe work environment involves the need to properly train and oversee employee activity. Safety training must be available to workers in an understandable form in terms of language and vocabulary. As operating procedures change, updates are expected so that employees have the understanding necessary to comply. Additionally, employee awareness is expected to be maintained through the use of safety data sheets, warning posters and other labels for materials, equipment and areas that pose threats. In some cases, employers may need to provide medical examinations and other specialized training.
Employers are expected to promote safe activities in their operations and are encouraged to initiate programs that support the prevention of work-related injuries and illnesses. However, accidents and illnesses can still happen in spite of employer and employee compliance. OSHA expects that employees will not be subject to retaliation in cases that require their reporting of concerns. Additionally, employees should be covered by workers' compensation insurance if they suffer injuries or illness because of work-related activities.
An employee who is intimidated or otherwise discriminated against because of their application for workers' compensation benefits or for reporting safety violations might find that legal advice is helpful for addressing such behavior. A lawyer may help in addressing any denial of benefits for an on-the-job injury and may provide directions for filing complaints about retaliatory behavior related to the situation.