What Does OSHA Stand For
OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It was created in 1970 in the United States within the Department of Labor. This Act is responsible for workers safety and health protections. OSHA determines which standards apply to your workplace and require you to follow these standards and requirements.
OSHA covers all employees and their employers under Federal Government authority, but it doesn’t cover the self-employed or immediate members of farm families that do not employ outside workers.
Workers Rights under the OSHA Act
Since OSHA’s creation, workers have many new rights related to safety and health. Some OSHA standards which have been issued since then, such as the Hazard Communication or Right to know standard, provide additional rights.
Here are the rights you have under the OSHA:
- You Have A Right To A Safe Workplace. Your employer needs to provide a safe and healthy workplace where all dangers are removed and if same cannot be removed completely, a form of protection must be provided to the employees.
Here are some examples of a safe and healthy workplace:
• Protection and training is provided when working in construction.
• Machines with moving parts are guarded.
• Noise levels are controlled.
• Trenches are inspected and have protective systems in place.
• Protection from chemical hazards.
- Notify and Request Action from Your Employer to Correct Some Hazard. You may ask your employer to correct hazards even if they are not violations of specific OSHA standards. Be sure to keep copies of any requests you make to your employer to correct hazards.
- You can request information from your employer about OSHA standards, job hazards, safety measures and workers injuries relevant to your job. With this right you can request copies of standards, rules, regulations that your employer should have in the workplace. You can access relevant exposure and medical records. Demand information from your employer on safety and health hazards in your workplace, substances used in your workplace, tests your employer has done to measure chemical, noise and radiation levels, protections you should take and actions to be followed if you or other employees are involved in an incident or are exposed to hazardous chemicals or other toxic substances. Employers also must provide these records to you or your designated representatives within 15 working days of your request.
- You have the right to request an OSHA inspection if you believe that there are unsafe and unhealthful conditions in your workplace. You can contact the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to request a health hazard evaluation if you are concerned about the toxic effects of a substance in the workplace. OSHA will keep your name confidential. You have the right to have a representative contact OSHA on your behalf.
- You have the right to receive training about job hazards in your workplace including all hazardous substances. With this right, you can get information on how to protect yourself from hazards in your workplace. There is a program called Chemical Hazard Communications that your employer must establish in which hazardous chemicals in each area are listed. Also, you can request training from your employer on a variety of other health and safety hazards and standards that your employer must follow.
- Be involved in OSHA’s inspection of your workplace. You can participate or you can have a representative participate in an OSHA inspection and you can speak privately with the inspector. Where there is no union or employee representative, the OSHA examiner must talk confidentially with a reasonable number of workers during the course of the investigation.
- File a formal appeal of deadlines for correction of hazards. If OSHA has set a deadline for correction of some hazard the employer must correct it in time. If not, you have the right to file an appeal to the OSHA Area Director.
- File a complaint with OSHA within 30 days if you have been retaliated against for using your rights. You have the right to file a discrimination complaint if you are punished or discriminated against for complaining about your safety and rights or in some cases for refusing to work when faced with pending danger of serious injury.
- See Any OSHA Citations Issued To Your Employer. Your employer must post the citations at or near the place of the alleged violation.
- Get Involved In Any Meetings or Hearings to Discuss Any Objections Your Employer Has To OSHA’s Citations or To Changes in Abatement Deadlines.
Know your workplace rights under the OSHA Act. If you are one of the victim at your workplace and you have notified and requested action from your employer to correct workplace hazard. You should know how to file a complaint with OSHA within 30 days or seek help from employment lawyer to recover from any losses.