Understanding your rights within the manufacturing industry

Manufacturing is an industry that is comprised of some challenging work environments. Some parts of this sector are incredibly dangerous, and others are completely hands-on.

When working in an industry that is this competitive, and with so much at stake, it is important to understand your rights. Getting injured, or being a victim of plagiarism could cost you financially. Here are some fundamental rights you should always have in the back of your mind, should something go wrong.

Safe working environment

If you work in manufacturing, you could be anyone from the patent designer to the person on the production line. Whichever aspect you work in, you are entitled to work in a safe and tidy working environment. If you become injured as a result of that work environment, you have every right to seek legal action, no matter where you live. If you live in the USA, then Schwartzapfel Lawyers in New York, for example, could be a good go-to for seeking justice.

For example, in the USA recently, some manufacturing employees started falling ill as a result of inhaling silica dust. This is a relatively new development in terms of hazardous bi-products, but it still railed environmental concerns. While a spokesperson for the manufacturing organisation stated that this was not a universal problem in the industry for synthetically-created stone, this was beside the point. It was ultimately ruled by the Occupational Safety Health Administration that employees should not be working in environments where they are exposed to hazardous substances. Ultimately, it was the manufacturer’s responsibility to provide a safe working space for those who were affected by this issue.

Intellectual property

Manufacturing doesn’t just refer to the physical production of goods. It also refers to the actual design of the product or substance you are indeed manufacturing. Intellectual property keeps the industry competitive, and it’s no wonder. If you are the owner of a patent, that patent lasts 20 years, and the design will last even longer at 25. This prevents anyone from copying your invention on legal grounds for an extended period of time. Were anyone to blatantly copy your designs, you could instantly reach for legal action.

As well as intellectual property, you may have some trade knowledge that you wish to keep within your manufacturing company. This is actually quite hard, as many competitors will take cues from you and copy your approach if it seems to be working. If you are at a business event where everyone is discussing their trade secrets, then you may wish to take more formal action to protect some of your knowledge. Non-Disclosure Agreements, or NDAs as they’re frequently referred-to, help to ensure that no one actively spreads knowledge about your trade.

Whether it’s intellectual property or the right to work in a clean and healthy environment, the manufacturing industry is helpfully supported by legal rights. As an employee you have the right to practice your trade safely; otherwise the broader company could be at risk of a serious lawsuit.