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Unsafe Work Conditions

Attorneys for Unsafe Work Conditions in Woodland Hills

Holding California Employers Accountable for Unsafe Working Conditions

One of the basic obligations an employer has to its employees is to provide a safe workplace environment. Unfortunately, not every employer lives up to this responsibility, resulting in countless workplace injuries every year. In California, employees are protected from unsafe working conditions by state and federal laws, including The California Occupational Safety and Health Act (CAL/OSHA). 

If you discover unsafe conditions at your workplace that your supervisor refuses or fails to resolve, you should not wait to get legal advice. At the Law Office of Payab & Associates, our skilled lawyers for unsafe work conditions in Woodland Hills are well-versed in defending the rights and interests of California workers, including in cases involving CAL/OSHA violations. Whether you are worried about your safety or have been recently hurt due to dangerous hazards in your work environment, we can provide results-oriented representation to your CAL/OSHA petition or injury suit and fight to enforce your rights. 

Get a proven advocate in your corner during this critical time. Call (818) 918-5522 or contact us online to request a case evaluation today!

Common Unsafe Conditions in the Workplace

Your occupation will generally come with unique risk factors for workplace accidents. Warehouse and construction jobs are often among the highest-risk jobs for workplace injuries, for example. However, even workers with desk jobs can face significant risks from unsafe conditions. Our attorneys for unsafe work conditions in Woodland Hills can answer your questions and advise whether you have a case if you suspect a hazard in your workplace violates the law.

Some of the most common unsafe working conditions include:

  • Continued use of faulty or broken equipment. Malfunctioning machinery or compromised safety gear can put employees at immediate risk of accidents, which may result in anything from minor wounds to catastrophic injuries – or even fatalities. For instance, if an essential safety guard on a piece of manufacturing equipment is not functioning properly and is not promptly fixed or replaced, an employee could suffer a preventable amputation or severe lacerations. Your employer should take immediate steps to cease the use of and repair or replace any malfunctioning equipment. Advising you to continue to use broken or inadequate equipment is likely a safety violation under the law.
  • Obstacles blocking pathways or exits. Blocked pathways can prevent the evacuation of employees during an emergency, such as a fire or gas leak, increasing the risk of injury or death. For example, if an exit route is impeded by stored inventory or equipment, it can create chaos and confusion in a crisis, as employees struggle to find a way to safety. Additionally, these obstacles can hinder the arrival of emergency services, delaying critical aid to those in need. State and federal laws set strict regulations regarding unobstructed egress to prevent such dangers.
  • Slippery or hazardous flooring. Slippery or hazardous flooring is a serious workplace hazard that can lead to accidents and injuries. Uneven, wet, or inadequately maintained floors create dangerous conditions where employees are susceptible to slips, trips, and falls. For instance, a recently mopped floor without proper warning signage can cause an unsuspecting employee to slip and sustain fractures, head injuries, or severe sprains.
  • Malfunctioning or missing warning systems. Warning systems are designed to provide prompt alerts that signal the need for immediate action, whether that's evacuating compromised premises or shutting down potentially dangerous equipment. In industrial settings, equipment malfunction alerts are crucial to prevent accidents. Without these signals, workers may unknowingly operate faulty machinery, risking their own safety and that of their colleagues. If fire alarms or carbon monoxide detectors are faulty or absent in any type of workplace setting, employees may be unaware of a dangerous situation, such as a fire or a gas leak, which can lead to preventable tragedies.
  • Lack of safety guards and rails. These safety features serve as critical protective barriers in environments where workers are exposed to heights or machinery with moving parts. Without sufficient guards in place, workers operating saws, presses, or milling machines are dangerously exposed to the risk of getting entangled in the machinery, resulting in severe injuries such as crushed limbs or worse. Similarly, the lack of rails around elevated platforms, ramps, or walkways can lead to devastating falls.
  • Congested work areas. When workspaces are cluttered or overly crowded, the risk of accidents and injuries significantly increases. In such environments, employees may struggle to navigate the space safely, potentially leading to trips, bumps, or collisions with objects or other personnel. Moreover, congested areas impede the quick and safe movement of individuals, which becomes critically harmful in emergency situations requiring immediate evacuation. There is also the heightened danger of work errors resulting from the inability to maneuver materials or operate equipment effectively due to spatial constraints.
  • Poor lighting. Poor lighting in the workplace is a serious issue that can severely compromise worker safety, contributing to accidents and impacting overall health. Insufficient lighting makes it difficult for employees to see obstacles, leading to trips, falls, and collisions. For example, in an inadequately lit warehouse, workers might not see stray materials on the floor, resulting in preventable accidents.
  • Inadequate safety gear. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial in minimizing exposure to harmful conditions that can result in serious injuries or illnesses. Failure to provide appropriate PPE such as helmets, gloves, respirators, or eye protection leaves employees vulnerable to a wide range of risks, from head injuries to respiratory diseases. Consider construction workers without hard hats who are at risk from falling debris or laboratory technicians lacking proper gloves who may be exposed to hazardous chemicals. Adequate safety gear acts as the first line of defense against occupational hazards, and employers are obligated by state and federal laws to adequately equip their employees with the necessary PPE tailored to the specific risks associated with their job responsibilities.
  • Improper containment of hazardous materials. When hazardous substances are not correctly stored or managed, there is a substantial risk of spills, leaks, or exposure that can lead to burns, poisoning, respiratory problems, and other serious health issues. For instance, a chemical spill in a facility due to failing containment measures can quickly become airborne or come into contact with workers, leading to acute or chronic health problems.

Understanding Cal/OSHA Protections

California’s worker safety protection laws tend to be stricter and more comprehensive than federal standards. Your California employer must provide you with a safe working environment and immediately address any unsafe situations.

Cal/OSHA requires that employers:

  • Post Cal/OSHA guidelines in the workplace for employees to review
  • Regularly inspect equipment and workplace conditions
  • Keep all equipment in good working condition and up to code
  • Maintain alarm systems, fire sprinklers, and other safety contingencies
  • Provide employees with all needed protective equipment
  • Keeping accurate records of all workplace injuries

Retaliation & Wrongful Termination for Reporting Unsafe Conditions

When faced with unsafe work conditions, some employees aren't only at risk of injury – they may also be faced with retaliation or wrongful termination if they report the dangerous situation to the authorities or even their supervisors. If you have acted as a whistleblower to report your employer for unsafe conditions or practices and then experienced retaliation, you should consult our lawyers for unsafe work conditions in Woodland Hills right away. The Law Office of Payab & Associates has handled thousands of employment law cases and is ready to aggressively pursue accountability in this matter on your behalf.

Get help from seasoned attorneys for unsafe work conditions in Woodland Hills today. Call (818) 918-5522 or contact us online to get started.

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