The situation created by Hurricane Sandy around New York seems positive for those who have been seeking work for a long time unsuccessfully. Day workers are standing in crowds on work sites hoping to be picked for service. The good rates being paid for cleanup work have given hope to many who are lacking income.
However, in light of OSHA reports that many being hired are not being provided with the necessary gear to protect them from contamination and disease from the flood water residuals, workers may be putting their lives at risk by accepting the job. As a rule, workers that do not feel safe in a work environment without the proper training or safeguards have the right to refuse work. They can refuse to do the job and are not allowed to be retaliated against for taking a stand.
But with the thousands out of work, the opportunity to make money again is just too good to risk. Many workers will forge ahead anyway despite their lack of training or equipment just to put food on the table. OSHA is trying to combat the problem but many workers are putting themselves at risk just to make money.
You do have a right to refuse work conditions that are dangerous to your health and safety. If you are on the job doing cleanup work, make sure to ask for the disposable body suits, gloves, and respirators necessary to protect yourself from the contaminants. Certainly it can be a quandary to choose between earning an income and not being hired back the next day, but you really need to consider the dangers to your health.
Strong chemicals, mold, and sewage can result in serious health problems. For those with weaker immune systems, these hazardous conditions can end up in life-threatening condition that put you in the hospital or become instrumental in your death.
If you are concerned about a recent medical diagnosis that may be related to your work after Hurricane Sandy, contact our legal team today to discuss your situation for free. if your health condition is due to working untrained and unprotected from the contaminants, you need to protect your rights to workers compensation. Call us toll free today at 888-799-3918 or through our online contact form.