You have a right to refuse work that puts you in danger. If you talk to your employer about a situation at work, like an exposed blade or other dangers, your employer should attempt to resolve that issue and keep you safe. If he or she will not address the hazard, then you can issue a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
You shouldn’t leave the workplace only because you made a complaint, but you can refuse to work in a situation that puts you in danger. You can refuse to participate in work if you have asked for the danger to be removed and your employer did not do so, if you believe that the hazard poses an imminent risk, if a reasonable person would agree that there is a serious risk of death or injury and if there isn’t enough time for OSHA to inspect the hazard before you work.
Ask your employer to assign you new work or to correct the hazard. You can tell your employer you won’t be working until the hazard is no longer a danger, but you should stay at work until ordered to leave. You should not be retaliated against for refusing to work in dangerous conditions, and if you are, you should contact OSHA immediately before talking to your attorney.
When you face struggles in the workplace, it’s important that you’re able to reach out for help. If you’re hurt because of hazards that weren’t fixed, then you have a right to pursue workers’ compensation to cover your lost wages and medical bills.