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OSHA’s Role in the Workplace

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which is a part of the Department of Labor, sets out the legal requirements designed to ensure the health and safety of all workers while on the job.

OSHA’s rules require employers to provide employees with a workplace that is free from hazards that may cause serious physical harm or death to employees. OSHA sets forth standards for construction, agriculture, maritime and general industry.

As an example, employers must inform employees of the existence and location of medical and exposure records when employment begins, and at least annually thereafter. These records must be made available to employees within 15 working days of a request for them.

Employers must also inspect the workplace and workplace conditions to verify that they meet appropriate OSHA standards. This includes making available safe and properly maintained tools and equipment, providing employee training in a language and manner that workers can understand.

Health and safety requirements and procedures must be established and updated regularly. This includes warning employees of hazards they may be exposed to and training them to take proper precautions. OSHA posters informing employees of their rights and responsibilities must be placed in a prominent location at the workplace.

If an employer is cited by OHSA, all violations must be corrected by the deadline established in the OSHA citation. All abatement verification documents must also be submitted. Any OSHA citations must be posted near the involved work area. The citation must remain posted for three days or until the violation is corrected, whichever is longer. Any abatement tags or verification documents must also be posted.

Finally, any work-related fatalities must be reported to the nearest OSHA office within eight hours and all work-related eye loss, amputations, and hospitalizations must be reported within two hours.

Employee Rights

Employees are allowed to request information from employers regarding workplace health and safety hazards. This includes any chemicals used in the workplace, potentially harmful radiation and noise levels, and any precautions employees should be taking at the workplace, including procedures to be followed following an exposure incident.

Employees may file an OSHA complaint if they believe there are either OSHA violations or serious workplace hazards. Employees may participate in any meetings to discuss his or her employer’s objections to any OSHA citation or changes in abatement deadlines. Any employee who feels they have been retaliated against as a result of making a complaint may file a whistleblower complaint for retaliation.

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today

If you have been injured while on the job, you have rights. At Dworken & Bernstein, our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys can help. OSHA regulations are designed to protect workers in the workplace from unsafe conditions. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a workplace incident, we can assist you in pursuing the benefits to which you are entitled.

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