Until before 1970, workers in the United States did not have rules or laws to protect them in the event of illness, injury, or death in the case of accidents in their workplace. That is why the president at that time, Richard Nixon, put to work to provide worker safety in his workplace, which should be a basic right, creating a national public health body known as OSHA to protect the life of the employee.
This organization, OSHA, is in charge of inspecting that the workplace is correct and that the safety rules for both men and women are observed. In the event of death in the workplace, OSHA must conduct a thorough inspection to find out what happened. We will explain this inspection below.
OSHA Inspection when Immediate Death
OSHA has priorities for conducting workplace inspections. These inspections are without prior notice to ensure that the work area is found in the exact condition in which the employees work. On the other hand, these inspections are divided according to an order of priorities, so that in the event of immediate death in the workplace, the first thing that is carried out is the inspection of imminent danger, i. e., where the danger of death can be undeniable, according to osha.gov.
Other inspection priorities carried out by this organization are fatality or catastrophe; the complaints and references of the employees and finally, the programmed inspections.
What Does Imminent Danger Mean?
Imminent danger refers to the fact that the workplace is not safe and that the cause of death of the employee is a high risk, i. e., almost inevitable. This is applied in certain work areas such as mines where the safety system and accessories/work clothes, etc., are not adequate. In this way, OSHA, after corroborating said situation, communicates with the employing company to request that the employees leave said work area.
Before OSHA came along, these inspections were not performed and safety systems for workers were virtually non-existent. That is why the deaths in the construction areas, metallurgical factories, mines, etc., were very high and in case the employees asked for security, they were fired from their jobs. Today, OSHA does not allow the worker to have to choose between his job and his life.
Imminent Danger Facts To Take Into Account
You must bear in mind that as a worker you have the right to report to your employer the lack of safety in the work area and if you think it is necessary, not to do it due to the danger. This option should be applied as a last resort in case of not receiving satisfactory answers from the employer.
On the other hand, you should also bear in mind that you can contact OSHA and file a formal complaint in case the security system is not present in the work area and where life depends on it. Safety regulations are a violation of worker rights, so if you want to file a complaint without giving your name, you can also do it to avoid problems.
Enter the official OSHA site to submit your complaint or call to contact an agent to report the violation of safety in the work area.