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This course allows workers to learn their rights while on the job, also what they can do if they suspect a violation of OSHA standards.
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What is OSHA?
In 1970, the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed to help prevent workers from being terminally harmed or killed.
The organization created was called the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This is a resource for workers as well as employers to educate, inspect and make sure all workplaces covered meet the health standards put out by OSHA.
OSHA's standards cover everything from fall protection to absestos, silica exposure, machine guarding and hygiene, as well as bloodborne pathogens and work-related injuries and deaths.
Despite OSHA's existence, injuries and deaths continue to occur at alarming rates in the United States. Just last year more than 3.5 million workers suffered serious injuries. The truth is, the vast majority of these injuries were preventable.
There are some toxic chemicals that workers are exposed to which we don't know the effects of. This is why OSHA is so important.
OSHA Standards Covered employers, as we are, have a responsibility to: Provide fall protection Prevent trenching cave-ins Prevent exposure to some infectious diseases Ensure the safety of workers who enter confined spaces Prevent exposure to harmful chemicals Put guards on dangerous machines Provide respirators, PPE or other safety equipment Provide training for certain dangerous jobs in a language and vocabulary you can understand
What is NOT an OSHA standard?
Worker Rights and Responsibilities
We have a responsibility to provide you a safe workplace. Because of this we have employed training courses that concern your safety.
If you have a safety or health concern, please let us know so we can correct it. Above all, we want to be OSHA compliant to protect our co-workers. Remember, it is our responsibility to provide safe environments, this goes beyond just handing out PPE.
As employers, it's also our responsibility to: Display safety posters prominently, as well as posters that describe your rights as a worker. Inform you if you are working with chemical hazards, through labels, alarms, info sheets and training. Provide all training to workers in a language they can understand. Make sure our record and bookkeeping is accurate and reflects any work-related illness or injury. Regularly perform air tests in the workplace. Have PPE readily available at no cost to you. Provide any medical exam or test required by OSHA. If we do get OSHA citations for any reason, we will post the data where you can see them. In the case of any injury, hospitalization, amputation or fatality we will notify OSHA within 8 hours. We also make a firm commitment to not retaliate against workers for ANY reason, including their right to file a complaint or report an injury or illness.
You have a right to the copies of any tests that we complete in the workplace, including those that monitor air and hazards.
You not only have a right to your medical records from any test conducted, you also have a right to speak with an OSHA inspector in private during an inspection. You have a right to participate in that inspection as well.
You have a right to file a complaint against us, without us retaliating in any way. If you feel you are being retaliated against you can file as a whistleblower, protecting you by 20 federal laws that OSHA has jurisdiction in.
You have a right to working conditions that do not pose a risk of harm or death. To make sure you can protect yourself, it is our responsibility to provide training that will help you prevent harm and hazard to yourself. If you file a complaint and are fired, demoted, transferred or retaliated against in any way you must file a complaint within 30 days of the alleged retaliation.
Filing a Complaint
Written complaints, or those by phone, to local OSHA offices usually result in an on-site OSHA inspection. Some online complaints are resolved by phone from OSHA to management.
If you are experiencing a dangerous situation at work: OSHA recommends you bring the conditions to management directly, so that the issue can be resolved quickly. But remember, you may file a complaint with OSHA if you have a health or safety concern at any time. If you have filed a complaint, you should not leave the worksite simply because you complained. However, if the danger is imminent, and OSHA cannot reach it in time, then you have a legal right to refuse to work in hazardous environment. If you refuse to be exposed to what you believe to be a dangerous working condition, management is not allowed to retaliate against you. The rule of thumb here is if a reasonable person can conclude that injury, fatality or serious harm may happen before OSHA can come to inspect it, then they have a right to refuse work immediately.
You have a right to blow the whistle if you see wrongdoing, without fear of any retaliation.
Protection from retaliation means that we cannot do any of the following in response to your participation with OSHA: Fire or lay off an employee "Blacklist" Demote Deny overtime pay Discipline in any way Deny benefits Fail to hire or rehire Intimidate Make threats Reassign Reduce hours or pay Deny promotion If any of these things are done, we are breaking the law.
If you feel any of these things have been done to you, you should contact your local OSHA location immediately.
There is a timing to this: You must file within 30 days from alleged retaliatory behavior.
The inspection is how OSHA enforces its standards to reduce injuries, fatalities and illnesses within a workplace. This lesson will help demystify the process. It's important to keep in mind that OSHA inspectors are there to protect you and your co-workers. If they find violations, that responsibility falls on the employer (us).
When do inspections happen? Inspections happen without advance notice. This is so OSHA inspectors can see how the workplace is ran from day to day. They are always conducted either on-site or by telephone. These officers are highly trained in compliance and will focus on the following priorities: Dangers, especially if it's imminent Catastrophic risks, meaning situations that can cause fatalities or serious harm. Any complaint filed with OSHA Targeted high-risk areas Follow-ups from previous inspections
As you know, you may file a complaint or request to OSHA to inspect the workplace if you believe there is a standard not being followed.
You have a right to do this confidentially.
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