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Workplace Safety and OSHA

Employees have all the right to a workplace that is free of any health and safety hazards. OSHA is a federal agency that seeks to assure the health and safety of America’s worker by setting and enforcing workplace safety and standards. Currently there are many OSHA training programs held in America which trains people thoroughly for workplace safety.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970 created Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within the department of Labor, to implement safety and health programs to reduce the hazards at a workplace. OSHA gives many rights and responsibilities to employees which also includes right to;
  • Review the copies of appropriate rules, regulations, requirements and standards that the employer should have at the workplace.
  • Have access to relevant medical records and employee exposure.
  • Employees on request to OSHA, have their names withheld from their employer if they sign and file a written complaint.
  • Employees can request to OSHA area director to conduct an inspection if they believe any violations or hazardous conditions exist in the workplace, and also have authorized employee representative accompany the OSHA compliance officer at the time of inspection.
  • Employees have right to be free of any discriminatory or retaliatory action taken by their employer on result of any OSHA complaint.
Along with rights to employees, OSHA has the employer obligations as well. Employers have the duty to;
  • Provide workplace and the work free from recognized hazards.
  • Inform their employers about OSHA health and safety standards that apply to their workplace.
  • Display of OSHA poster in the prominent place at workplace which describes the rights and responsibilities under the OSH Act.
  • Make a written, comprehensive hazard communication program which includes provision for things like; material data safety sheets, container labeling and an employee training program.
  • Properly inform employees of, the location, existence and the availability of their medical exposure records when employees begin the employment and annually thereafter. Also provide these records on request.
OSHA determines which standards apply to any particular workplace and also requires its employees and employer to follow all the standards and requirement. OSHA also offers many safety training courses for both employee and employer to get certified in hazard recognition. Some states have mandatory training program for the OSHA certification as well.