Most employers make an effort to keep the working conditions at their businesses safe. Even so, there were nearly 3 million work-related injuries and illnesses and over 5000 worker deaths reported in 2019. With numbers like those, you might rightly wonder if your job is at an unsafe workplace.

Of course, the nature of your work can obscure the issue. Is the problem that my workplace is unsafe or that my occupation is hazardous? If you’re unsure or you’re wondering if what you’ve seen warrants an unsafe workplace complaint, keep reading.

We’ll provide you with five red flags that can alert you to an unsafe workplace.

1. Poor Training

One of the best curatives for workplace accidents and injuries is safety training. Granted, safety training for an office environment will look different than the safety training for construction workers. Even so, safety training should happen during onboarding and recur at least once or twice a year.

A lack of training is one of the key EHS metrics that serve as a red flag for an unsafe environment.

2. Hostile Workplace

Workplace safety isn’t just about physical health. It also applies to mental and emotional help. While some level of stress comes with any job, it shouldn’t create changes to your mental or emotional health outside of work.

Signs of a hostile work environment include bullying, extensive gossip, and even verbal or emotional abuse. All of these either are or can trigger unsafe behaviors in the workplace.

3. Excessive Overtime

Some employees love overtime because it means extra money in their paycheck. That’s fine for volunteers. If your workplace makes constant overtime a condition of keeping your job, it’s probably an unsafe environment.

Constant overtime can leave workers overtired, which makes them more prone to mistakes that can injure themselves or others.

4. High Turnover

Employees come and go in any business. Some employees never planned to stay for long. Others are a bad fit for the role or the culture.

If constant turnover is the name of game at your company, it means there are deeper problems at play. At a minimum, it means many of your coworkers are new and potentially inexperienced with dangerous tools or equipment.

5. OSHA Regs Violations

OSHA regulations exist for exactly one reason: keeping workers safe. More to the point, it’s a legal obligation for employers to follow those regulations. If you see a pile of OSHA violations, there’s a good chance your workplace is unsafe.

You and the Unsafe Workplace

Learning that you work in an unsafe workplace can prove unsettling for several reasons. Not the least of these reasons is that most people need their jobs.

That always prompts the issue of what to do if your workplace is unsafe. You can report unsafe behaviors or conditions to your superiors. If you see safety regs violations, you can report them to OSHA or a local safety agency. In the end, though, changing jobs may end up as your safest option.

Looking for more career advice or tips? Check out the posts in our Business section.