The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the federal agency within the U.S. Department of Labor responsible for publishing and enforcing safety rules and reguations. Almost all workers are protected by OSHA regulations except, for example, state and local government employees (with limited exceptions), persons who are elf-employed and family members of farm employers.
The OSHA website is wonderful source of information for both employers and employees. It contains frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) and printable pamphlets in PDF format that are written in plain English including, for example, a booklet on Workers’ Rights. All workers have the right to a safe workplace, and your employer is responsible for providing you with a safe workplace that is in compliance with OSHA safety rules and regulations. Some of the specific rights that workers have under OSHA include:
- Right to file a confidential complaint with OSHA following an accident or to report a safety hazard or practice that could cause an accident.
- Receive OSHA training applicable to the workers’ job or industry, and the training must be in a language that the worker understands.
- Review records of work related injuries or illnesses at the job.
- Receive testing results for hazards or monitoring done at the workplace.
- Get copies of workplace medical records.
- Participate in the OSHA inspectino and speak privately with the OSHA investigator.
- File a complaint with OSHA if you have been discriminated against by your employer for notifying OSHA about a workplace injury or hazard or for exercising any of your rights under OSHA.
According to OSHA:
“A job must be safe or it cannot be called a good job. OSHA strives to make sure that every worker in the nation goes home unharmed at the end of the workday, the most important right of all.”
If you or a co-worker have been seriously injured in a work accident or if you wish to report a unsafe practice or hazard at work that you believe could result in serious injury to you or your co-workers, you should contact OSHA by calling 1-800-321-6742.
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a work accident, you should contact an experienced workers compensation lawyer to ensure that you receive your full workers comp benefits and to investigate a potential third-party claim.