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Safety. It’s a daily task and requires constant maintenance. Walk through any workplace today and you will see all sorts of safety protocols, from fire extinguishers, to Personal Protective Equipment, to air purifying machines. These protocols established by OSHA in 1970 have drastically reduced worker accidents. As a worker you have rights under OSHA and OSHA entitles you to protection and a safe workplace.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was created to prevent workers from being hurt or killed on the job. The law required employers to provide their employees with workplaces free from hazards, as well as the freedom to file complaints without fear of retribution. All employers must post the official OSHA poster where all workers can see it.
Right to a Safe Workplace
Because all workplaces are different, OSHA has categorized its safety protocols by four major industries, General, Constriction, Maritime, and Agriculture. Protection covers many things, from how to work safely with chemicals to avoid exposure, when and where harnesses or other PPE is needed, protection against hearing loss, and safety features on all machines. But these safety protocols must be known and seen, and your employer is required by law to post these regulations in a public place. IF any training is required, that training must be paid for at your regular rate. You have the right to any and all of your medical records and the right to speak up about any concerns you may have.
OSHA has the legal right to show up at your workplace at any time to perform an inspection. They are not required to call ahead or forewarn you. Inspections are especially common if the workplace has obvious potential dangers to workers, reports of accidents or fatalities, and worker complaints. Inspections can be initiated by any employee with a concern. If an inspection occurs and citations are found, OSHA will discuss with you ways to correct the issues, then make a return visit later in time. You cannot be fired or punished for filing a complaint.
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