No matter the reason for your employer’s refusal to provide safety equipment, doing so is a violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA). By failing to provide you with proper and necessary safety equipment, your employer is putting you in danger of disease, injury, and even death.
Keep reading to learn about your employer’s PPE requirements, your rights as an employee in the state of New York, and your legal options for holding your employer accountable.
When Your Boss Refuses to Provide PPE
You have two main options to recover money for your injuries: file a workers’ compensation claim or sue for damages.
If you were injured on the job because your employer failed to provide personal protective equipment (PPE), you may be able to recover money for medical expenses, lost wages, and more through a workers’ compensation claim.
If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance (another violation of New York law), you may sue for damages. An experienced New York personal injury attorney will help you every step of the way, filing the initial claim, gathering evidence, and negotiating with the other party and their insurance to get you what you need.
Employees’ Rights in New York
Employees in the Empire State have rights under state and federal law. These include:
- Working in a safe environment that does not present a risk of serious harm.
- Information and training provided in a language the employee can understand.
- Employees must be provided with OSHA standards that relate to their industry.
- Employees must be provided with training related to workplace hazards.
- Employees have the right to file a complaint with OSHA to inspect the workplace.
- Employees have the right to review records of past work-related injuries and illnesses.
The first point may seem open-ended, but the right to a safe work environment is detailed in OSHA guidelines. You can ask your employer for industry-related OSHA standards at any time, or you can report an issue confidentially using OSHA’s complaint system.
You may be intimidated by taking action against your employer, but keep in mind that you can submit anonymous requests for an OSHA workplace inspection. It’s also a good idea to meet with a lawyer before deciding to take action. An experienced New York personal injury lawyer will steer you in the right direction and look out for your interests.
Employer PPE Requirements
Improper or absent safety equipment can lead to dangerous working conditions, causing a wide range of injuries. One of the best protective measures against injury is PPE. These items have prevented countless injuries; their absence from high-risk workplaces can cause serious harm and death.
Section 1910.9 of OSHA addresses employees’ rights to receive PPE when worksite hazards necessitate their use. An employer commits a violation when the proper PPE is unavailable. Separate violations apply for each employee who has not been given safety equipment including proper training on how to use the equipment.
If you work on a construction site, your employer should provide you with:
- Safety glasses or face shields
- Slip- and puncture-resistant boots
- Gloves for the specific job (rubber gloves for concrete work, insulated gloves for electrical work, etc.)
- Hard hats that are routinely inspected for cracks or dents
- Earplugs or earmuffs for high-noise areas
A Personal Injury Lawyer Will Hold Your Employer Accountable
OSHA requires employers to protect their employees from injury and death. These employer PPE requirements are in place for a reason – controlled hazards mean less risk for injury and death.
If your employer refuses to supply you and your fellow workers with safety equipment, hold them accountable for your injuries. Call Weinstein Law Group at (212) 741-3800 for a free, no-obligation consultation.