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Preventing workplace injuries by protecting health and safety

California employees have the right to safe work environments, and employers should always strive to prevent workplace injuries. When faced with unsafe working conditions or other concerns, it is beneficial to be familiar with employee rights and legal options. One of these rights includes the ability to report certain circumstances that may place individuals at a higher risk for workplace injuries. 

An employee may refuse to complete a job that is unsafe or unnecessarily hazardous. California workers should not face any type of retaliation for exercising their right to file a report with the appropriate authorities. When a workplace accident occurs because of unsafe conditions, that employee is eligible for workers' compensation benefits. An employer must fulfill his or her legal obligation to process any claim in an expedient manner. 

One way that employers can prevent accidents is by putting appropriate safety measures in place for those who work with hazardous materials. Employees should be well-informed of their job requirements and should be properly trained to do their job safely. The necessary hazards of certain jobs, such as those involved with the transportation of hazardous material, do not bar an employee from seeking compensation benefits if injured on the job. 

When employers do their part and promote safety in the workplace, it can have a direct impact on the number of workplace accidents that occur. After an accident, employees should. receive assistance to pay medical bills and compensate for lost wages under the state-regulated workers' compensation insurance system. Questions and concerns about workers' compensation or workplace injuries should be directed to an attorney familiar with worker rights. 

Source: dir.ca.gov, "Employee Rights", Accessed on March 3, 2015

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