No matter what industry you work in, you are exposed to some health risks on the job. For some in the manufacturing or manual labor industries, those risks can include death, fractures or the loss of body parts, while for others in less physical fields, they face the potential for carpal tunnel or arthritis. There’s no denying that there are risks to every job, which is why it is so important that we take necessary steps to protect our workforce.
Minnesota Senator Al Franken is hoping to do that by updating the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act to improve work conditions for employees in every sector. Franken introduced the bill known as the “Protecting America’s Workers Act,” and it was co sponsored by Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.
“When Minnesotans go to work they should be confident that their workplace is safe,” said Franken, who also sits on the Employment and Workplace Safety Subcommittee. “But too many Americans are still exposed to unnecessary hazards on the job and we continue to see preventable workplace deaths and injuries. This legislation will improve and modernize our workplaces and help ensure safer conditions for the American worker.”
Improving Workplace Safety
You can see the full text of the proposal by clicking here, but it’s rather wordy and tough to decipher exactly what’s being proposed. However, Sen. Franken gave a blanket statement about some of the changes proposed in the updated bill. The new bill would:
- Extend OSHA coverage to some workers who are currently excluded under the program.
- Strengthen both civil and criminal penalties for companies who violate OSHA regulations.
- Enhance anti-discrimination protections for workers.
- Strengthen the rights of workers, unions and injured victims.
The updated bill is grounded in good intentions, but there’s no guarantee the bill will find traction. Considering the Democrat-sponsored bill will head to a Republican-controlled Congress for a vote, it seem more likely than not that the bill will struggle to gain approval in its current form.
Injuries At The Workplace
So while legislators are working to improve protections for employees across the nation, it remains important to take steps on your own to prevent injuries on the job. Follow safety protocols, report any potential violations and don’t try to work through an injury. You are protected under the law, even if your employer says otherwise.
If you or a fellow employee has been injured on the job and you don’t know where to turn, reach out to Dean Margolis today. We can help set you up with a licensed physician to evaluate your injury and we’ll work with you every step of the way to help you get the compensation you deserve. For more information about how Dean can help you after a work injury, click here to contact him today.
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