The “green” jobs sector is promising in so many ways. In addition to benefitting the environment, companies working with solar power, recycling, geo-thermal energy, and biofuels employ thousands of people across the country. However, these jobs are not without their own risks. Like in other industries, workers in green jobs face the risk of physical injuries every day. They may also be entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits should they suffer a work injury or illness.
Because many green jobs are relatively new, all the potential hazards are not yet fully identified or understood, making it difficult to protect workers from harm. For example, it was decades before Americans fully identified the risks of coal and asbestos exposure and established stringent protocols to protect workers from these dangerous substances. Without proper precautions, solar energy workers may be at risk for exposure to a known carcinogen, cadmium telluride.
Besides the less understood hazards facing green workers, there are plenty of easily identifiable risks to workers in the green sector. Because many of these jobs are physical, green workers often face the same dangers that construction workers and factory workers face every day:
- Burns and fires
- Confined space hazards
- Electrical currents
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Slips, trips, and falls
Also, because many green workers work in remote locations like involving turbines or deep underground trenches, getting immediate medical assistance to injured workers often presents additional challenges.
OSHA and Green Workers
The Occupational Safety and Health Act requires employers to comply either with OSHA safety and health standards or with a state plan approved by OSHA. The Act’s General Duty Clause also requires employers to provide employees with a workplace free from known hazards that have the potential to cause serious harm or death. As green industry jobs evolve and we learn more about how to keep green workers safe, OSHA standards may grow with them to ensure every American worker is safe every time they punch the clock.
OSHA standards are in place to safeguard workers in all lines of work. Your employer is required by law to comply with OSHA standards and report illness and injuries when they do occur. If you are injured on the job, regardless of who is to blame for your accident, you should notify your employer. If you fail to do so, you may lose important Workers’ Compensation benefits that help to cover medical care and lost income.
Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Protect South Carolina’s Injured Workers
At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. our dedicated Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers will guide you through the process of filing a claim, appealing a denial, and fighting to continue your benefits if you are not physically able to return to work. Call 866-881-8623 or contact us online to schedule a free case review today.
We have six locations throughout South Carolina to serve you clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.