Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Requires Nonhazardous Working Environment on the Job

By Arjun ap.

Under US government guidelines, employers are obligated to ensure safe conditions and respond appropriately to workplace accident compensation claims.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was established under the U.S. Department of Labor in 1970. It regulates workplace safety habits and helps employers implement strategies to keep their employees safe and working, and reduce the number of workplace accidents.

In order to reach its goals of continually improving worker health and reducing injury at work, the administration obligates employers to follow certain directives. It also allows them the chance to legally contest a claim made by a worker trying to thwart the system.

OSHA’s Requirements for Workplace Safety

Under regulation, employers are compelled to provide the following:

 

  • Work that is free from hazard and a work station that is safe.

 

  • Information to employers about OSHA’s requirements and the company’s safety and health policies.

 

 

  • A written communication program that covers the employer’s safety policy in its entirety that should include procedures for container labeling, material safety data sheets and a comprehensive employee training program.

 

  • The location of medical and exposure records, when they are available and information on how employees can access the records upon request. Employees should be informed of these rights when they are hired and at least each year after that.

When an Employee Has an Accident at Work

Suffering a broken bone or an eye injury at work, are examples of accidents workers risk while doing their jobs. Once injured, however, workers must file workers’ compensation forms specific to the state in which they live. Employers should keep these forms on file as employees should inform their employer immediately after an injury-causing accident occurs. These are obtained from the state workers’ compensation agency.

The employer must mail in the employee’s signed form to be processed and has the right to challenge the claim if he or she honestly feels the employee is trying to take advantage of the system. A work injury lawyer can help employers prove their case if they feel an employee is lying about a workplace accident compensation claim.

After a decision is made by the state regulating body, both the employer and the employee have the right to appeal the decision.

Workplace Safety Inspections and Employee Confidentiality

Employees are legally entitled to contact OSHA and ask for a workplace inspection if they think hazardous conditions are present in the workplace. If OSHA finds that there is enough evidence to investigate the claim, a representative comes into the office or work site and can be escorted by an employee representative chosen by a union or employee vote- never the employer.



The inspection may encompass just a small area or the field officer may conduct a work site-wide analysis. After assessing the situation, OSHA’s investigator will meet with the employer and the employee representative to discuss how to remedy the unsafe area or code violation.

If a worker requests anonymity, an employer is not allowed access to the name of the employee who filed a claim against the employer with OSHA.

Healthy Workers vs. Injured Workers

Injured workers are not as productive as healthy workers, and by following OSHA’s workplace safety guidelines, employers can avoid accidents in the workplace while minimizing downtime in productivity due to employee health issues.

Arjun is an independent researcher, writer, speaker and a consciousness activist. He writes for Activist Post and Natural Blaze.

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