Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA is a body created in the year 1970 by the American Congress in order to protect the workers from being harmed or injured in the workplace. This entity implements rules and standards that will enforce health and safety of the workers. With this, working in companies that are OSHA compliant can give you that sense of security. But what are these standards and how they are implemented?
There are two kinds of regulations being handled by OSHA and these are health standards and safety. The former deals with toxins exposure and the outcomes of other hazards while, the latter deals accident prevention. Some of the rules being implemented by this organization were actually adopted from private agencies.
OSHA was supported by other bodies such as the NIOSH or National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in the creation of the laws. OSHA compliance can be very advantageous since it boosts workers productivity knowing that the company can provide better care. With this, employers must devote time to come up with a safer work area.
OSHA – Protection to Workers
Employees have the right to work in a safe workplace regardless of the industry they work in. Hence, if you think that the company you are working with has violated the rules you have the option to file a complaint at to OSHA. With your report, they can conduct inspection on your workplace to determine whether your employer is OSHA compliant. In essence, OSHA gives employees the following rights:
- Request OSHA to inspect the work area – This can be done if your employer has violated the laws on operating heavy machineries such as forklifts and failed to provide an area such as eyewash facilities for employees who are working with corrosive substances. Even the failure to comply with the safety floor markings is subject to OSHA’s investigation.
- Practice their rights – OSHA safeguard the right of workers so that they can exercise their rights without fear and discrimination. So, if you have been transferred without proper advice or have been denied of salary raise of punished in some ways you have the right to submit a complaint.
- Get training and inform about hazards – Simple things like not creating and imposing written procedures on how to keep the integrity of certain equipments can be subject to investigation.
- Test results and records – Essentially, OSHA gives workers the right to obtain test results copies that were conducted to determine hazards in the work area and review documents of work related accidents.
Who Are Covered By OSHA?
Basically, OSHA identifies the standards which should be implemented in your work area and they require you to comply with these. But who does this entity cover?
In actuality, all employers and employees under the federal government are covered. The coverage can be issued directly or through OSHA-approved programs. It does not provide coverage to those who are self-employed as well as the immediate family members. Also, it does not cover individuals who are employed in a work setting that is controlled by other government agency.
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- OSHA’s Priority Areas in Workplace Safety
- Whistleblower Complaints, You, and OSHA
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- OSHA for a Small Business