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Workplace safety and employer responsibility

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the federal agency tasked with regulating Minnesota's workplace safety practices. To that end, the agency has promulgated a number of regulations and rules requiring employers to engage in certain activities in order to ensure workers have reasonably safe working environments. Employers also have additional requirements under the state's workers' compensation laws.

OSHA requires employers to assess their workplaces for potential safety hazards. They must have safety policies and procedures in place, and they must provide safety training and appropriate equipment to workers. They must also make sure that the tools workers will use are in good working order and are safe, maintaining them when needed. OSHA also requires that its poster be placed prominently in order to inform employees of their rights and responsibilities under the law. If an injury at work does occur, employers must report it and keep records of all injuries that have occurred in the workplace.

The state's workers' compensation laws outline some additional employer responsibilities. The employer must carry workers' compensation insurance coverage in order to provide protection to workers who are injured on the job. They must also post information regarding their compliance with the workers' compensation laws and the employees's rights if they are injured while working.

Workplace accidents sometimes occur despite all precautions that have been taken. Since taking preventative measures can reduce the risk, it is still important to follow them. A worker who is injured on the job may want to file a claim with the employer's workers' compensation insurance carrier. Workers' compensation benefits may pay for the injured worker's medical expenses, treatment costs and any needed medical equipment. It may also be available to pay a portion of the workers' previous income if the injury renders them either partially or totally disabled.

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