Spotting an Unsafe Work Environment

Written by Ravi Sattiraju on March 7, 2018

There are many ways a workplace can be unsafe. Physical safety hazards at work include contact with hot or volatile materials, poor lighting, and a lack of fire exits. A workplace can also be psychologically dangerous, putting employees at risk of facing mental issues like burnout and emotional trauma following discrimination.

If you feel your workplace is unsafe, discuss your concerns with an experienced employment lawyer who can help you take the appropriate legal action to correct the issue.

Broken Appliances and Fixtures

Broken appliances can pose a few different injury hazard to employees. Electrical appliances can pose shock and electrocution risks while those with heating components, like coffee makers, can burn employees when they malfunction. Broken lighting fixtures can make it difficult to see injury hazards in the workplace, and broken plumbing fixtures can pose various risks like scalding and spills that can pose slipping hazards.

An Environment where Harassment is Acceptable

When harassment is a regular part of the workday, the target’s physical and mental health can suffer while others in the workplace become accustomed to a hostile, abusive atmosphere. This leads to workplace cultures where accepting harassment is the norm, perpetuating the damage it causes to victims.

Slick Floors

Certain types of flooring are more likely to become slippery when wet than others. These include smooth tiled floors, hardwood floors, and slate tile floors. If spills are frequent in your workplace, which is often the case in commercial kitchens and behind bars, floors without rubber anti-slip mats can be extremely dangerous for employees. Clean up any spill you see promptly and be sure to wear non-skid shoes when working in this type of environment.

No Breaks for Employees

Taking breaks during the workday is linked with better employee performance. When employees do not have time to refresh their minds and bodies during brief work breaks, they are more prone to making mistakes. In workplaces where heavy machinery, hot or toxic materials, and physical labor are part of the workday, employees who do not have time to take breaks can potentially injure themselves and others by making mistakes. Breaks can also provide a physical health benefit for sedentary workers.

Federal law does not require meal or rest breaks for employees. New York law requires meal breaks, but not rest breaks, for employees in certain fields and those who work certain shifts. New Jersey law does not require any breaks for employees over age 18. Although they are not required, they can make a workplace safer.

Work with an Experienced New York and New Jersey Employment Lawyer

If you were injured on the job, you have the right to file a Workers’ Compensation claim. Under certain circumstances, you might instead file a third-party personal injury claim following a workplace injury. In any case, where you suffer an injury at work, work with an experienced New Jersey sexual harassment lawyer to pursue compensation for your damages. Contact the Sattiraju Law Firm, P.C. today to set up your initial consultation with us, one of New York and New Jersey’s premier employment law firms.

Posted Under: New Jersey Employment Law