When your boss pressures you to do something, you likely feel like you essentially have no choice in the matter. If you say no, are you just going to get fired? Even if you keep your job, will you ruin your relationship with your boss, thus preventing you from getting future promotions and advances?
We have seen this play out in numerous ways, including cases where employees felt pressured to break the law. But the same thing could happen when it comes to safety.
What is your boss really focused on?
Your boss may be more focused on speed and productivity, and safety measures often take some time. Your boss may be willing to trade (your) safety for faster work.
For instance, you know you’re not supposed to use a machine without the safeguards in place, but they cut your production rate in half. There is a simple “trick” to override these safeguards. One day, when you’re running behind, your boss says that you should do “whatever you can” to get caught up, implying that you need to override those systems.
Or, perhaps you want to put on a harness before heading up on a roof. Your boss asks if you really need it since the task you have to do will just take a few minutes. Rigging the harness will take longer. You know it’s not safe, but you feel pressured to hope for the best and ignore the regulations that are meant to protect you.
You have options if you get injured
You don’t have to do extremely dangerous work or ignore safety procedures. If you do get injured on the job, though, you must know what legal rights you have as an employee to replacement wages and other benefits through workers’ comp.