If you feel unsafe at work, you should not simply ignore this and carry on with your job. All workers have a right to be safe, even if you work in a high-risk profession such as construction or mining.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act is a federal law that demands that all employers keep their workplaces safe from hazards that could cause illness, injury, or death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, known as OSHA, is the administration that enforces these laws and carries out inspections when necessary. The following are some things that you should do if you believe that yourself or other people are unsafe in your workplace.
When there is a risk of imminent danger
If you are in a situation at work and you believe that carrying out a task would put yourself in immediate risk of physical injury or death, you can refuse to work until the employer fixes the hazard and makes the workplace safe. You can do this only is the danger is so immediate that you do not have the time to report it to OSHA and if your employer refuses to fix the danger.
When there is a nonimmediate risk
If there is a dangerous condition that does not present an immediate risk, you should start by notifying your employer of this issue in writing. If they do not take action to correct the condition, you have the right to report this to the OSHA without fear of retaliation.
It’s important that you report any unsafe condition in the workplace and make sure that the issue is resolved because it could save lives. If your employer retaliates against you, you have the right to take legal action against them.