What to do if the machine shop where I work at is unsafe?

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What to do if the machine shop where I work at is unsafe?

I have tripped over loose cords and slipped in oil spills left for days. I want to sue them, how can I? My fellow employees and I want to take action to protect ourselves and need to know when to sue or whatever. I am not the only employee this has happened too. In the past a man fell and broke his leg but hey tried to make it his fault; it was difficult for him to finally get workers compensation. The machines we run are designed to shut off when the doors are opened and they have disabled that feature without having us sign papers giving our consent. My bosses are lawyers who have everyone scared to stand up for themselves.

Asked on June 6, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Start off by filing an OSHA complaint.  This is the federal agency that is designed to help workers with safe working conditions.  They have a website with contact information.  You can file a complaint without identifying who you are.  You may also want to take pictures with your cell phone and email violations before they have a chance to cover up any safety issues.  Even lawyers don't like dealing with OSHA.  Another option is to file a worker's comp retaliation claim either privately or through the TWCC (Worker's Comp Commission).  Depending on the extent of the safety violations, you may have additional causes of actions for a willfully unsafe work environment.  At the very least, arrange for a consultation with an attorney that specializes in employment law to see what other options may apply to your situation.  But, as a starting point, file the OSHA complaint.  This is probably the quickest way to get safety relief.


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