Construction Workers’ Rights in the Workplace
January 26, 2017
Construction workers are constantly exposed to dangerous work environments that requires constant monitoring and strong safety regulations to prevent injuries caused by workplace accidents.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) extends rights and responsibilities to construction workers, and imposes safety and health obligations upon employers in the construction industry. Employer must follow these rules and regulations to ensure the safety of construction workers.
Construction Worker Rights
OSHA provides employees with rights and responsibilities in the workplace that protect their safety:
- Employees have the right to view an employer’s workplace requirements, rules, standards and regulations.
- Employees may access medical and exposure records.
- Employees may review records pertaining to workplace illnesses and/or injuries.
- Employees may receive results of workplace hazard testing.
- If an employee believes his or her employer is in violation of OSHA regulations, he or she may request an OSHA inspection of the workplace for standards violations and hazardous conditions.
- When requested through a signed written complaint, the employee’s name can be withheld from the employer.
- The employee has the right to protection against discrimination and retaliation for filing an OSHA complaint.
Construction Employer Obligations
Under OSHA regulations, employers have the duty to:
- Provide a hazard free work environment.
- Provide safe tools and equipment, and monitor employees for their proper use of tools and equipment.
- Keep employees informed of OSHA standards applicable to their workplace.
- Make available in the workplace OSHA rights and responsibilities which apply to the workplace and workers.
- Develop a hazard communication policy, including policies for container labeling, employee training and material safety data.
- Provide training in all languages spoken by employees.
- Inform workers throughout their time of employment where they can access medical and exposure records.
The OSHA Inspection Process
An employee has the right to file a written complaint to OSHA if hazards are not remedied in a reasonable time by an employer.
OSHA reserves the right to perform an inspection, upon reasonable grounds, of a workplace that shows evidence of violations or dangerous hazards.
An agent representing the worker may join the OSHA inspector. This agent will be selected by the union, if applicable, or employees. The employer is not allowed to participate in the selection of the accompanying agent.
The OSHA representative may perform a thorough inspection of the workplace, or conduct a partial inspection of concerning areas.
Upon completion, the OSHA representative will discuss his or her findings with the employer and employee’s agent, detailing the necessary corrections of any observed hazards.
Assistance for Construction Accident Injuries
Should an employee become injured on the job, the following should be done to protect the construction workers’ legal rights:
- Seek immediate medical attention to treat the injury.
- Inform the employer and site manager of the incident. Record the name of the person who was notified and his or her position.
- Collect the names and contact information of those who witnessed the incident.
- Take pictures of the scene of the injury and the injuries sustained to document the injury and the conditions that caused the accident. Keep any tools or equipment involved in the incident as evidence.
If you are a construction worker whose rights have been violated, contact the Phoenix construction accident lawyers at the Phillips Law Group.
We work to protect employees who are subjected to dangerous working environment or have been discriminated against by an employer. Our initial consultation is always free, and we provide our services without charging you anything unless we you receive compensation.
Call 1-800-706-3000 if you have questions about workers’ rights.
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