If you’re working somewhere and your employer doesn’t offer you the personal protective equipment that you need to work safely, you may automatically assume that you don’t need it for the task. Unfortunately, an employer’s lack of safety knowledge or general oversight could lead to serious injuries that leave you seeking workers’ compensation.
Did you know that your employer is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to protect you against workplace hazards? Your employer is required to provide you with PPE as well as the training needed to use it correctly.
What should your employer do with PPE in the workplace?
In your workplace, your employer is required to:
- Provide you with proper training on using PPE
- Provide you with information on how to properly wear or size PPE
- Teach you how to know when your PPE will no longer be effective
- Provide you with information on caring for your PPE
- Give you information on the process for replacing PPE that is worn out
Your employer should also go over the limitations of the personal protective equipment that you’re asked to wear. For example, some hardhats provide protection against electrocution, but other do not. You should be clear on what your PPE can or cannot do before using it.
Why don’t all employers focus on safety like they should?
Sometimes, it’s the inconvenience of performing training or purchasing equipment that is specialized for the work being done. Other times, employees may find PPE uncomfortable, and the employer may not want to fight over its use.
Whether or not PPE is comfortable or employees want to wear it, it does need to be used. Even if employees have performed work for many years without this equipment, having it in place will make the workplace safer.
If you end up getting hurt on the job because your employer would not provide the right equipment or encouraged a culture of ignoring safety, then it’s important for you to seek care and to look into seeking workers’ compensation for your injuries.