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Unsafe working conditions and workers' comp

There are a wide variety of work environments. Depending on the industry an individual works in, he or she might work at a desk, in a factory, on the road, in a lab, at a hospital or at a construction site. No matter what type of work environment an employee works in, however, the work environment is expected to be safe. In fact, unsafe working conditions could be the cause of a serious work injury or illness, causing a worker to require medical care and treatment.

With regards to an unsafe work condition, this is when an employee is unable to perform his or her required work because of the physical conditions of the work environment being too dangerous. Examples of this include asbestos, hazardous material, exposed wiring and broken equipment. An unsafe condition could impact only part of the workplace or could affect the entire property.

When unsafe work conditions are seen or learned about, employers are supposed to rid the workplace of these conditions. These reports of unsafe conditions are filed with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and they are not considered grievances but rather a way to inform the agency of unsafe or unhealthy working conditions.

While these reports could occur prior to any incidents occurring, it is likely that the reports are filed following a workplace incident. This information could be used to indicate that an unsafe work condition led to the injury or illness suffered, making it work-related. This and other information could help in the pursuit of workers' comp benefits.

When suffering a work-related injury or illness, it is important to understand that employees are afforded the right to seek workers' compensation. These benefits could help address losses and damages suffered, such as medical bills, rehabilitation and lost wages.

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