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Washington Employers Have Specific Duties for Workplace Safety

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on December 16, 2011

When it comes to workplace safety, several levels of government work together to ensure that workers are not doing their daily jobs in overly hazardous environments. While not every workplace can be made entirely safe, employers have a duty to understand the risks most likely to occur in their individual workplaces and to take steps to protect employees against injuries.

Every workplace has specific safety needs that depend on what kind of work goes on there. For every workplace, however, the Washington Department of Labor and Industry requires that employers consider the following minimum safety issues:

  • Provide a workplace free of obvious and usual hazards. This means both constructing a workplace that is safe, providing equipment that meets current safety standards, and providing extra safety equipment where needed so that workers aren’t taking unnecessary risks.
  • Prohibit employees from using tools and equipment that are not safe, from using alcohol, drugs, or other substances that might reduce their ability to watch out for dangerous situations, and from entering unsafe work spaces. Washington employers are not only responsible for making a workplace safe; they are responsible for alerting employees about dangers and making sure the employees steer clear.
  • Control chemical and biological agents so that they do not harm workers, either through their regular use or due to a foreseeable accident. For instance, chemicals should be clearly labeled so that they are not mistaken for everyday, non-dangerous materials.

Understanding the rules and regulations that govern workplace safety can help you avoid a serious accident. However, if you are injured in a construction accident or other workplace accident, the experienced Seattle personal injury lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. can help. For a free and confidential consultation, call us today at 1(888) 228-3860.

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