Employers in Pennsylvania are legally obligated by state and federal laws to inform employees about workplace safety and the availability of workers’ compensation insurance for injured employees. All workplaces need to have a poster in a visible location that explains the rights and obligations of workers as mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
For jobs that require handling hazardous chemicals, employers must create written policies and procedures about how to safely work with the hazards. Furthermore, they must train employees in these standards in order to limit accidents and injuries. This written information about the hazards should be available to workers at all times.
In the event that OSHA cites an employer for a violation, the employer must post the citation paperwork at the workplace for employees to see until the problem is fixed. This notice must stay up for a minimum of three days or until the issue is resolved.
In addition to posting written communications, employers must record all injuries and report this information to their workers’ compensation board and insurance company. If this is not done, the employer could potentially be charged with a misdemeanor and fined.
When a person is injured on the job, they must report the incident to the employer. This is necessary in order to apply for workers’ compensation benefits. When a worker collects such benefits, they give up any right to sue the employer for possible liability associated with the injury. An injured worker, however, does have the option of consulting an attorney about a workers’ compensation claim. This conversation could inform the person of their rights to benefits such as medical treatment and payment of lost income.
Source: United States Department of Labor, “Employer Responsibilities,” Accessed April 8, 2015
Source: FindLaw, “Workers’ Comp: Employers’ Responsibilities,” Accessed April 8, 2015