Working conditions are at the very core of the relationship of an employer and their workers. They encompass many things, though we understand them to be the working hours and remuneration provided to the worker. Working hours include the hours of work, rest periods, and schedules. Remuneration refers to salary per hour, vacation leaves, allowance for sick days, and overtime pay.
Working conditions also cover the physical conditions of the workplace and mental demands of the job. For example, those working in the construction industry must demand better protection on the job site. Wearing safety vests in Australia or other countries is enforced by labour laws and regulations. But this does not mean that all employers follow such rules.
According to research, physically demanding and environmentally hazardous jobs affect the health of women and older workers much more than they affect the health of males and younger employees. The health effects of a job differ across age, race, and education groups. Women with less than a high school diploma face harsher environmental conditions than their counterparts who are better educated. Non-white workers are found to have worse job conditions based on working hours and income.
Bring the Issues to Management
Identify the organizational hierarchy in your workplace. If you are supposed to directly report to a supervisor about work, then they are also the proper person to air your grievances in the workplace first. If you notice that there are safety hazards that can put you and your coworkers in grave danger, raise this issue with your supervisor. They should report this to human resource management and the department that handles the procurement of safety gear for workers.
If your supervisor fails to address the safety concerns you have raised, go to the human resource department and file a formal complaint administratively. The department should keep your name confidential, and an investigation should take place about the working conditions in your site.
Check Government Regulations
The government has a set of rules for hazardous job conditions. It has provisions for the safety of the workers and the job site. Not only are safety gear required, but employers are also obligated to compensate their employees in a hazardous working environment for the dangers they face while doing their jobs. You need to force your employers to follow such rules. A company may face legal sanctions that can derail their business permits and licenses if they fail to follow the safe job site regulations set by the government. Know your laws before facing company management.
Seek Help from Organizations and Government Units
You can reach out to the Department of Jobs and Small Business or the Fair Work Ombudsman for more information about your rights as a worker. You should be able to receive advice on legal remedies that you can take against your employer if you are not compensated fairly and if you are put in dangerous situations while performing your job.
You are well within your rights to lobby for better working conditions. It will not only benefit you but also present and future workers in the company. It will also shed light on the harsh conditions that people in the construction, manufacturing, medical, mining, and security industries face every day.