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How can you protect yourself from an unsafe work environment?

Of the millions of Americans who receive Social Security Disability benefits, many developed their disability from an injury or illness that occurred while working. A work-related injury or illness can be completely life-altering, leaving a once productive employee unable to work. No one wants to find themselves in this type of situation, so is there anything that Los Angeles residents can do to protect themselves while they are on the job?

The short answer is "yes," but employees need to know what is required from their employers first. Employers have an obligation to provide a safe work environment for their employees. Not all jobs come with daily danger, but there are millions of Americans employed in the construction and manufacturing sectors - jobs that traditionally have the highest rate of on-the-job injuries and illnesses. Employers in these sectors in particular need to make sure that they provide all of the requisite safety equipment, and they also need to make sure that employees know how to use it.

Larger employers must comply with regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This means that they need to post materials about safe work environments where they will be visible to employees, and they are also required to keep track of any injuries or illnesses that may have resulted from on-the-job tasks.

The inability to work due to a disability can have a significant impact on an employee's financial situation. Fortunately, Social Security Disability benefits could be available for workers who are injured or who come down with an illness due to work responsibilities. But, the prudent move for Los Angeles residents is to do everything possible to ensure that a workplace is safe to begin with.

Source: FindLaw, "Protecting Yourself from Unsafe Working Conditions," accessed on Aug. 11, 2014

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