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New job? You can insist on adequate safety training

Posted in Our Blog on August 1, 2018

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration governs the safety of workplaces in Louisiana. Employers must comply with the agency’s safety regulations and also ensure their employees follow safety rules and guidelines. However, some employers in and around Gretna fail to provide adequate safety training to new hires.

If you are a qualified worker, or a teenager taking on a summer job, it would be a smart move to insist on adequate training before potentially putting your life on the line. After all, how can your boss expect you to comply with OSHA regulations if you do not learn about them first? According to OSHA, a significant number of employees suffer workplace injuries within their first year of employment, and one in eight workers are injured on their first day at a new job.

Your employer should ensure that the work environment is free from known safety hazards that could harm you or your co-workers. As a new employee, you could prevent injuries by learning about the safety culture of a company from the start. However, safety training should also occur before a new assignment, upon a transfer to a different division, and upon introduction of new substances, processes and equipment. Frequent safety meetings can maintain awareness — even if sessions last only five or 10 minutes.

Recommended safety orientation

Your employer should provide safety training in a language that you understand, and training should include the following topics:

  • Written company policies: You should receive a written list of general health and safety policies and rules of the company.
  • Job-specific safety training: You should learn all about the potential hazards your particular job might present, along with steps to take to avoid injuries.
  • OSHA rules and programs: Training should cover all OSHA regulations and awareness programs applicable to your job.
  • Emergency procedures: It is crucial to learn about the company’s emergency procedures, including the locations of eyewash stations, fire extinguishers, fire blankets, emergency exits, alarms and first aid kits.
  • Reporting of illness or injury: Knowing the procedures to follow in the event of an injury or work-related illness is essential because it might affect eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
  • Hazard reporting: Make sure you know to whom you must report potential hazards or near misses to ensure they receive the necessary attention.

Your rights in the event of an injury

Accidents can happen at any workplace, despite strict safety protocols. If you are the victim, you could claim benefits from the Louisiana workers’ compensation insurance program. The benefits should cover all your medical expenses, and if your injury caused temporary disability, the benefits could include a percentage of your lost wages. The claims process might seem daunting, but resources are available to assist throughout ensuing procedures.