Lack of Safety Equipment and Hazardous Work Environment
Maine workers have the right to work in a safe environment with safety equipment adequate to protect against the dangers inherent in the job. Unfortunately, Maine workers often find themselves laboring under unsafe conditions. They face jobsite dangers such as exposure to toxic chemicals, improper training on the use of heavy equipment, and a lack of warning signs as to uneven floor conditions, wet surfaces, and other conditions. Further, many employers fail to provide standard safety equipment, such as safety goggles or glasses, handrails, facemasks, chemical spill kits, eyewash stations, and the like. Hazardous work environments and ones without the necessary safety equipment lead to thousands of worker injuries a year.
Employees injured on the job due to their employer’s lack of safety equipment or a hazardous work environment can seek recovery for their medical bills, lost wages, physical therapy, prescription medication, mileage reimbursement, and more. Employees who suffer permanent or total disability as a result of their injuries may be eligible for ongoing wage replacement, and family members who have lost a loved one due to a workplace accident can apply for death benefits.Maine Unsafe Workplaces
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that employers provide a working environment that is free of known health or safety hazards. The duties of a particular employer will vary greatly by industry, but some possible examples of an unsafe work environment include:
- Exposure to known toxins, pesticides, or other hazardous material without adequate warning
- Lack of warning signs in places where wet surfaces, uneven flooring, holes, and other such hazards exist
- Inadequate lighting leading to falls
- Improper ventilation in areas where workers are exposed to fumes such as paint fumes and welding fumes
Workers have the right to request an inspection through OSHA if they believe their workplace is unsafe. Employees injured on the job due to unsafe working conditions can receive benefits through workers’ compensation. In limited circumstances, an employee can seek recovery outside the workers’ comp scheme.Lack of Standard Safety Equipment
Part of creating a safe work environment includes providing adequate safety equipment. Necessary equipment will vary by the risks of the job and tasks involved. Employers who fail to provide standard safety equipment can be deemed negligent if it leads to the death or injury of an employee. Some examples of standard safety equipment include:
- Chemical spill kids
- Hard hats
- Welding helmets
- Safety goggles
- Safe scaffolding
- Reflective vests
- First aid kits
- Eyewash stations
Employees who are injured due to a lack of safety equipment or a hazardous work environment will be eligible for benefits so long as the injury arouse out of and in the course of their employment. All employees must notify their supervisor within 30 days of the injury, and the employee must either require medical attention or miss time from work to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Obtaining the full benefits to which you are entitled is not always easy for Maine workers who have injured themselves on the job. Sometimes, hazardous work environment claims involve injuries that developed over years of exposure or repetitive motion. These claims can present additional challenges, as the employee must demonstrate the injury arouse out of or in the course of employment. An experienced Maine workers’ compensation attorney can offer vital assistance throughout the process.Maine Employee Rights Group: Compensation for Maine Employees Injured on the Job
The passionate legal team at Maine Employee Rights Group devotes countless hours and resources to seeing injured employees obtain top benefits. Call us today at 207.874.0905 to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys.