Safety in the Workplace
What is OSHA?
As an employee, you have a right to a safe workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) is a federal law that is designed to protect employees from unsafe workplaces. OSHA gives certain rights to employees that they are allowed to assert to ensure that their workplace is safe. There are state workplace safety laws as well, but they usually follow the rules laid down by OSHA.
What Rights Do I Have under OSHA?
The rights that OSHA provides to employees are rights that must be asserted, so it is crucial that you know your rights. Under OSHA, you are entitled to:
- Training to teach you about the health and safety standards your employer must abide by
- Training about any dangerous chemicals you will be exposed to and how to protect yourself
- Training on any other health and safety hazards of the workplace
- Request information from your employer about OSHA, work injuries, and workers¿ rights
- Request your employer to fix any violations of OSHA or any other workplace hazards
- File a complaint with OSHA
- Request an OSHA inspection of your workplace and get the results of the inspection
- File a complaint for retaliation for asserting your rights under OSHA
- Request the federal government to research any possible workplace hazards
- Many other rights not listed here
What is the Imminent Threat to Life Rule?
If your workplace poses an imminent threat to your life, you are entitled to refuse to work until the problem is cured. But this right is limited to only those situations in which your workplace poses an imminent threat to your life.
What Do I Do if I am Injured at Work?
If you are injured at work, there are a few steps you can and should take to ensure that others are not injured by the same hazard:
- File a Workers' Compensation claim as soon as possible to ensure that you begin to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and injury. Some states allow for greater workers' compensation pay if the injury occurred as the result of a workplace safety law violation
- Alert you employer to the hazard or danger
- File a complaint with OSHA or the appropriate state agency if your employer does not fix the problem right away
- If the hazard is an imminent threat to your life or the lives of your co-employees, call OSHA's emergency line at 1-800-321-6742
I Have a Workplace Safety Issue, Do I Need a Lawyer?
Workplace safety laws are complicated and can vary from state to state. An experienced employment lawyer will have knowledge of the laws in your area and can advise you of what rights you have and how to properly assert them.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 03-23-2011 12:05 PM PDT
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