If you are looking to enter the job market in Minnesota, you are entitled to choose your employer with as much care as he or she takes when considering you for a position. In fact, the higher your standards in this process, the lower the chances that you will suffer a severe workplace injury. If a safe workplace environment features high up on your list of requirements, you are almost sure to avoid the stress and trauma associated with occupational injuries.
Company owners who do not prioritize employee health and safety provide environments at which risks are high for injury, illness and even fatalities. The fact that all employers are subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s regulations is not enough. Compliance is what matters, and it may be wise to research a potential employer to make sure the company has the necessary financial resources to cover the costs of safety equipment and devices.
Aspects to explore
During your job hunting, you may benefit from looking for an employer who has high standards when hiring employees, offers safety training and carries workers’ compensation insurance. It might also help to explore the following aspects before choosing where to apply for employment:
- Safety culture: Having workers’ compensation coverage does not guarantee workplace safety. If the company does not provide ongoing training, complacency can set in and lead to workplace accidents. An employer who demonstrates a commitment to maintaining a strong safety culture will likely ensure mutual trust between all. This may create teamwork and inspire workers to look out for each other. An employer who encourages workers to help develop improved safety standards by reporting potential hazards and suggesting remedies is also a positive sign.
- Equipment safety: Provision of all the required safety equipment is vital. This includes all the personal protective equipment that your job will require along with safety devices on machines. Depending on the industry in which you are seeking employment, these may include safeguards and lockout/tag-out devices to avoid contact with moving machine parts along with gloves, eye and ear protection, respirators and fall arrest harnesses.
- Operational training: A fall harness will serve no purpose if you do not receive the necessary training in the proper use of it. The same applies to respirators and other safety gear. You may want to avoid a job that will include working on machines for which you are not qualified. If that is the hiring practices of a company, other employees may be untrained — putting your life at risk. However, if the company offers training in new fields that will increase your experience, it might be worth considering.
If the unexpected happens…
Despite your research and careful consideration of your chosen employer, you may want to take note that workplace injuries may still occur. If that happens, you will likely find comfort in learning that your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance will cover your medical expenses and a portion of lost income if your injury prevents you from returning to work for an extended time. You may choose to utilize the services of experienced legal counsel to navigate the benefits claims for you.