WHAT IS THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION (“OSHA”)?

SACRAMENTO WORKERS COMPENSATION ATTORNEY

Sacramento Workers Compensation Attorney

OSHA is the government body that ensures the Occupational Safety and Health Act is followed and adhered to.

The act was signed into law by Richard Nixon on December 29, 1970, and it set federal rules and regulations to inform employees of on the job hazards, and ensure that employers do everything in their power to make the workplace safer. OSHA is an agency of the United States Department of Labor and is responsible for enforcing the guidelines that it creates. Compliance Safety and Health Safety officers are the backbone of the agency and they conduct inspections and investigations of workplaces to ensure compliance. OSHA randomly schedules inspections, which are usually planned for worksites in particularly hazardous industries, but a site inspection can also be triggered by a workplace fatality, multiple hospitalizations, worker complaints, or business partner referrals. Inspections are conducted without advance notice by trained compliance officers who utilize a combination of telephonic, electronic, and on-site inspection techniques.

How Effective is OSHA?

This has been a heated debate since the agency’s creation! The statistics show that OSHA really has helped increase workplace safety, but the problem of workplace danger is far from solved. OSHA is a small agency given the size of its mission – the organization has approximately 2,400 inspectors that completed 83,000 inspections in 2012. That may seem like a lot, but when you take into account the fact that there are over 8,000,000 workplaces and 130,000,000 workers that fall under the agency’s jurisdiction, the inspections completed only account for a small percentage of the total.

Although arguments are made that OSHA is less effective than it could be, the agency does a lot of good for our country’s laborers, and below you will find a list of some important regulations that the agency enforces.

Employer Requirements

  • Inform workers of chemical hazards through training, labels, alarms and other methods.
  • Provide safety training to workers regardless of language barriers
  • Keep accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
  • Perform tests in the workplace to ensure environmental quality (air, water, temperature)
  • Provide required personal protective equipment to workers at no cost
  • Provide hearing exams and other medical tests to ensure employee health
  • Post OSHA citation data and annually post injury and illness summary data
  • Notify OSHA of workplace fatalities and all work-related inpatient hospitalizations
  • Prominently display the “OSHA Job Safety and Health – It’s the Law” poster

Employee Protections – Employees have the right to:

  • Work in conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
  • Report a work-related injury or illness without retaliation or discrimination
  • The right to file a confidential complaint with OSHA to have their workplace inspected and to participate in the inspection and speak in private with the inspector.
  • Receive information and training regarding the hazards, methods to prevent harm, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
  • Receive records of the work-related injuries and illnesses that occur in their workplace.
  • Receive the results from tests and monitoring done to quantify and measure environmental hazards in their workplace.
  • The right to file a complaint if punished or retaliated against for acting as a “whistleblower”

If you witness or suspect an OSHA safety violation at your place of employment it is imperative that you file a complaint with OSHA – your health and safety and the health and safety of your fellow employees count on it! If you have been injured on the job and suspect it is the result of a safety violation that could have or should have been corrected, please do not hesitate to contact the Sacramento workers compensation attorney at this law firm. We have extensive experience securing just compensation for worker’s injured on the job. Call our Sacramento Workers Compensation attorney for a free consultation today!

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Workers Compensation Lawyer in Sacramento CAHave you suffered a serious work injury? Contact our work compensation attorneys for FREE consultation about your California workers compensation claim benefits. We’ve been helping injured workers since 1987 and are certified by the State Bar of California.

Give us a call at (916) 930-9675 to speak to a work comp attorney in Sacramento now.

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