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Know Your Rights When it Comes to Workplace Safety

Posted on in Employment

workplace accidents, San Jose employment law lawyers, workplace injuries, workplace safety violation, maintenance worker injuriesDuring the early spring months, maintenance workers are often out in full force completing tasks in anticipation of summer and the busy tourism season ahead. Unfortunately, many types of jobs maintenance workers perform can end up putting them in jeopardy. While employers are responsible for providing the proper training and safety equipment, it is often up to the workers themselves to be aware of potentially dangerous situations which could put them at risk for serious and even life threatening workplace accidents.

A recent case in San Jose highlights the risks many workers face. To protect yourself, it is important to be aware of your rights and the proper procedures to follow if a suspected safety violation occurs.

Tree Trimmer Killed In San Jose Emphasizes the Need for Caution

A fatality in San Jose involving a tree trimmer who was electrocuted on the job in late February 2018 emphasizes the dangers landscapers and other outside maintenance workers face. It also emphasizes why employees need to be extra diligent when it comes to knowing their rights and protecting themselves. Fox KTVU reports that the man was cutting tree branches at a vacant home site when one of the branches apparently struck the nearby high tension power lines. As a result, the man was electrocuted and died at the scene.

As the actual power line was not cut, officials are not sure what caused the man’s death. The fire department claimed that rain and windy conditions could have been a contributing factor increasing the likelihood of mishaps, particularly when working so close to power cables. Officials did not identify the man or the company he worked for, but PG&E did issue a statement saying he was not one of their independent contractors. Unfortunately, it is likely a story many maintenance workers can relate to—a task needs to be completed, and while conditions may not cooperate, your livelihood depends on your ability to get the job done.

Protecting Yourself at Your Job

No job is worth risking your life and the law does have rules and regulations in place to protect workers from potentially hazardous and unsafe conditions. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR), employers are obligated to put safety first, and their workers may refuse a task without fear of being punished if the task involves violating safety regulations and puts you or your coworkers at risk. If you encounter this type of situation on the job site, the DIR advises following these steps:

  • Inform your employer about the hazard;
  • State that you are willing to work if the hazard is corrected or if you can be assigned another task; and
  • Inform them that you believe a state or federal safety regulation is being violated.

If you face repercussions for refusing an unsafe task, call or contact Jachimowicz Law Group. We can arrange a consultation with our passionate San Jose employment law lawyers to discuss your options in terms of filing a claim for lost wages and any other damages you suffer.

Sources:

http://www.ktvu.com/news/man-dies-trimming-tree-in-san-jose

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/documents/health-and-safety-rights-for-workers.pdf

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