OSHA’s Role in Worker Safety

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), plays a pivotal role in worker safety. In fact, 35 years ago, workplace safety was unheard of, and employers were not held to the same rigorous standards they are today.

Stemming from the OSH Act of 1970, OSHA is there to ensure employers are responsible for providing their staff with safe, healthy workplace environments. This includes setting workplace standards, inspecting facilities for compliance, and investigating conditions when complaints or injuries occur.

OSHA enforces these standards and takes all workplace safety regulations seriously–and because of OSHA, the number of workplace injuries has reduced significantly.

Who Does OSHA Protect for Alpharetta Workers?

OSHA covers most workers in the United States, including:

  • Private WorkersEmployees in the private sector for all 50 states and the District of Columbia are covered by Federal OSHA regulations and OSHA state-approved programs. Any state-run program must be as effective as the federal or better to qualify.
  • State and City Workers Federal employees are also protected by OSHA, but only if they work in one of the 22 states that have an OSHA-approved state program.
  • Federal Employees All federal agencies and their employees are protected under OSHA.

OSHA Created Workplace Safety Requirements

Under the OSH Act of 1970, employers are required to meet specific responsibilities and keep their employees safe. These duties include:

  • Safe WorkplaceAll employers are required to provide a safe workplace that is free of health and safety hazards and complies with all rules, regulations, and standards issued by OSHA – including those updated each year.
  • Examine for Compliance Employers must continually inspect for compliance and ensure they conform to OSHA standards. If an employer does not have a compliance check program in place and they violate OSHA standards, it is their fault, and they will face fines.
  • Post Employee Warnings All employers must use color-coded messages, labels, posters, and signs to warn employees of potential hazards.
  • Provide Employees with Safety Training All employees must receive job training, hazardous chemical training, and have current operational procedures that they can access so that they may avoid injury or unexpected illness.
  • OSHA Posters All employers are required to post OSHA notifications that inform employees about their rights and responsibilities under the OSH Law, and provide OSHA-approved training.
  • OSHA Citations When an employer violates OSH Law, they must post these citations near the work area involved in the citation and must keep the citation posted until they have corrected the violation.
  • Proper Record Keeping Any on the job illnesses or injuries must be kept in the appropriate record database. Exposure records must also be kept – even if an injury or disease does not occur, and have them available for OSHA during a compliance inspection.

When Does OSHA Inspect Workplaces?

OSHA inspectors, known as compliance and safety officers, conduct inspections without notice; therefore, they will show to a job site unexpectedly and examine the working conditions. Employers do have the right to request an inspection warrant, but most will allow OSHA to enter without one.
OSHA has over 7 million jobs to inspect; so they have a system that prioritizes which workplaces are inspected first:

  • Imminent danger situations, which are workplaces that have severe health and safety hazards
  • Reports of severe injuries and illnesses recently or in the past
  • Complaints have been received
  • Referrals come from other state and federal agencies for an OSHA inspection
  • High-hazard workplaces, or workplaces that have had a high number of injuries in the past
  • Follow-up inspections for workplaces that have received citations and need those citations cleared

When OSHA Isn’t Enough, You Need a Work Injury Attorney

While OSHA does a lot to ensure your workplace is safe, sometimes injuries and illnesses happen. When they do, you have workers’ compensation insurance. However, receiving benefits, especially for permanent disability, can be difficult with workers’ compensation.
That is where an Atlanta workplace injury attorney comes in. The injury team at Van Sant Law, is here to help you with your workplace injury.
Our team knows how frustrating it can be to be injured at work and stuck with medical costs, lost wages, and more. Let us ensure you receive the benefits you are legally entitled to, but also that you receive a fair settlement for your permanent injuries.
Schedule a free consultation now at 404-991-5950 or request more information online.

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