During this past Fourth of July weekend, people across the country attended state and county fairs, munched on grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and watched in awe as fireworks lit up the night sky. What many people may not have heard were the sounds of emergency sirens signaling an abrupt end to someone’s celebration.
In 2015, over 11,000 people were treated for firework-related injuries. Not all of those injured were simply from messing around. According to OSHA, last year two workers were killed and four more were injured when an explosion occurred at a fireworks factory in Alabama. OSHA cited the company for 14 safety violations and proposed fines in excess of $60,000.
It is possible that workplace accidents like these can be avoided when employees take an active role in ensuring their safety and wellbeing. If an employee suspects that his employer has violated an OSHA standard, that employee may report the suspected violation directly to OSHA. And employees can do so without any fear of retaliation.
If you have chosen to make a report in order to protect yourself and your co-workers from possible harm, your employer may have tried to retaliate in subtle or not so subtle ways. If you believe you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits as a direct result of your actions, you may wish to consult with an experienced attorney who can advise you of your rights. Always remember that no matter what ultimately happens, you made the right choice to speak up.