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North Carolina's hazard prevention program explained

As a worker, you want to make sure you're safe at work. Most of the time, the best way to stay safe is to stay vigilant and to report anything that doesn't seem right or safe. Whether it's cracks in the floor or odd-smelling machinery, reporting potential hazards can help you and others stay safe on the job. If you're hurt, workers' compensation will cover your expenses, but that wouldn't have to happen if you were kept safe to begin with.

When you see a problem on the job, it's your responsibility to report it and to fix it if it's possible to do so. Your employer needs to make sure the hazard is corrected. If he doesn't, then he's putting his employees at risk and could end up causing a workplace accident.

In North Carolina, there is the Hazard Hero program, which is a workplace safety program aimed to help employers and employees work together to make their workplaces safer. When a worker finds a hazard at work, it can be reported online by filling out a Hazard Hero form or by reaching out to a supervisor.

The state safety committee, along with your supervisor and human resource director should be notified about any potential hazards in the workplace. At that point, the supervisors are expected to work with their employees to find a reasonable solution to the hazard that has been identified. If the hazard can be corrected by the employee, he or she will be informed on how to do so. If not, then it's the employer's job to repair whatever the hazard is, so the employees on site can be kept safe while doing their jobs.

Source: NC OSHR, "Hazard Recognition," accessed May 13, 2016

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