Being OSHA compliant means adhering to all applicable regulations put forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). It helps keep employees safe from dangerous hazards and demonstrates business owners are concerned with workers’ well-being. OSHA was created with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), within the Department of Labor. While a Workplace Poster is available from the OSHA website, here we’ll provide an overview of what the OSHA compliant workplace looks like.
Is My Workplace OSHA Compliant?
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Who Must Comply with the OSHA Act?
Most private sector employers and their workers are covered by OSHA. Whether through the Federal program or an OSHA-approved program, employers/workers in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and other jurisdictions belonging to the U.S. are covered.
Workers whose hazards are regulated by a different government agency, self-employed workers, and immediate family members of farm employers are not included.
What OSHA Requires of Employers
An employer’s facility that is OSHA-compliant is one that:
- Is free from hazards recognized by the law, such as slip-and-fall hazards like spills, floor obstructions, and unsafe ladders.
- Gives employees power to raise concerns or report work-related injuries or illnesses without fear of retaliation, which is illegal.
- Provides workers with personal protective equipment (PPE) at no cost, that fits properly, and provides an adequate level of protection.
- Provides workers with the required training, which is structured in a language and vocabulary that can be readily understood.
- Displays the OSHA poster prominently and uses color codes, labels, and safety signs to warn of potential hazards in an area.
In addition, any OSHA citations against the company must be posted at or near the location where the alleged violation occurred. If there’s a work-related hospitalization, amputation, or loss of an eye, OSHA must be notified within 24 hours; workplace fatalities must be reported to the administration within 8 hours of the incident.
Being OSHA Compliant and Workers’ Rights
First and foremost, the law provides workers with a right to a safe workplace. Employees must be free to report safety or health concerns to their employer without fear of consequence. OSHA also gives employees the right to:
- Receive information and training on all hazards on the job, including hazardous substances and dangers related to slip and fall, fire, electrical safety, etc.
- Request a confidential OSHA inspection of the facility if it’s believed unsafe or unhealthy conditions are present; you can designate a representative to contact the agency.
- Participate in an OSHA inspection and communicate with the inspector privately and in confidentiality.
- File a complaint (via phone, online, or by email) with OSHA within 30 days if an employer has retaliated against them for reporting unsafe conditions.
- Request copies of medical records, workplace injury/illness logs, or results of tests for measuring hazards.
- View any OSHA citations that have been filed against their employer.
Additional Elements of OSHA Compliance
These are some other considerations to ensure your facility is safe within the scope of the law:
- Clean up spills that can make walkways, floors, stairways, and other surfaces dangerous.
- Develop a fire plan with exit paths out of buildings and training on using firefighting equipment. Add fire exits, labels, and self-closing doors if necessary.
- Provide ear protection devices for where noise levels remain above 85 decibels, plus have the ability to measure local noise levels and provide workers with audiometric tests.
- Have first-aid kits with supplies to help treat severe injuries, accounting for the most common hazards in your industry; employees must know basic first-aid protocols and know where each kit is stored.
- Be familiar with the hierarchy of controls, starting with the most effective; these include eliminating the hazard, substituting the hazard, controls that isolate people from it, using administrative controls to change how people work, and use of PPE.
Suffered a Workplace-Related Injury or Illness? Call Jacob
At The Law Offices of Jacob Emrani, we have the best workers’ comp lawyers in Los Angeles. We’re familiar with the OSH Act and how it applies to each industry. If you’ve suffered a workplace injury or illness or your employer has retaliated against you, we’ll help get the remedy or compensation you deserve. Don’t delay reaching out to us. With the statute of limitations in California, you may miss out on being awarded damages. Our team can act quickly to get your claim started, so call 888-952-2952 now!