Worker’s Rights Under OSHA
Anyone who wakes up every morning and goes to work has the full right to work in a safe manner while being protected in every way possible. OSHA is a government agency that requires the workspace to comply with their rules and regulations about recognizing hazards. OSHA requires that every employer trains their employees to the best of their ability according to OSHA standards in a manner that protects both the worker being trained and everyone else in the facility. If you’re unsure of OSHA’s regulations you may want to search personal injury lawyers in Greenwood.
Even if you have a degree, going to work every day and working with chemicals or being exposed to different things requires extra on-the-job training. At your employer’s job to make sure that you are protected able to do your job without being harmed or at risk of harming others. It’s also required that the employer properly label chemical containers, have a written communication program for all hazards in the building, provide safety data sheets and other types of information for all employees, and trains everyone for handling any dangerous chemicals.
You should know exactly what to do in the event of a chemical spill and how to protect yourself while on the job. You have a right to know what you’re working with and that if there is a spill, your employer has a plan for informing employees that such a spill has occurred. It’s not just chemicals that can pose a danger. There are a lot of different hazards in any particular workplace. They might come in contact with blood-borne pathogens, be forced to work in a confined space, or even deal with other types of hazardous situations, like construction on a busy highway or on a high high-rise.
Having the Best Information Available
As an employee, it is your right to have access and knowledge about OSHA standards and what to do in the event of an injury or an illness. If your employer doesn’t automatically give you this information, this up to you to request it from them so that you know every safety protocol and potential hazard where you work. You also want to take a look at the different tests your employer has conducted and what the results of those tests are.
Still, if your employer doesn’t give you the information that you’re looking for, that’s a potential OSHA violation. You need to know what you’re being exposed to every single day when you go to work. If you’re not sure of the safety protocol, how can you safely conduct your job without worrying about being at risk of getting sick or even dying? It’s your employer’s job to inform you of every detail of any risk, including the location of the risk and update your exposure records the moment you start working every year after.
You should also be able to request these records any time you want to and should receive them within 15 days. It’s also important to observe whether anyone is monitoring and/or measuring the toxic chemicals that you’re working with. Not just the toxic stuff, but also loud noises or other things that can be harmful to your health. There should be a way for you to see whether there’s been a chemical leak or if the air is contaminated. In these instances, OSHA will have a limit to which you should be exposed and your employer must be able to give valid instructions for reducing the exposure.
Requesting Your Employer Act to Reduce and Remove Hazards
If there is a danger or a hazard in the workplace that you believe should be corrected, even if they don’t violate OSHA standards, you should still have the right to ask your employer to correct them. It doesn’t have to be an OSHA violation or standard to be a workplace hazard. If you see something that might be considered dangerous, then your employer is an obligation to find a way to fix it.
You should keep a record of every single request you made to your employer. If you’re starting to find that your employer is not taking your request seriously or they refuse to fix any potential hazard, then you should definitely file a complaint with OSHA. OSHA will then investigate and inspect the property for the potential hazard. When contacting OSHA, you should send a letter to the nearest OSHA branch to you
Be Involved in OSHA Inspections
You, as the employer, don’t have to sit back and let others determine if the workplace is safe or not. Under the law, you have every right to elect an employee representative to join the OSHA compliance officer as they inspect the property. Don’t let your employer choose the representative. It should be someone who works on behalf of the interests of the workers, as a union representative. They should be able to go along with the inspection to ensure that every detail measures up to protect worker safety.
If there is no employee representative who is a member of the union there to inspect with the OSHA inspector, the net inspector must speak with a number of the workers who are there during the investigation itself. This conversation must be confidential and amongst the workers only. This is the best way to make sure the workers know that they are working in a safe environment without employer interference.
The compliance officer might ask questions about working conditions and how the employer has treated requests for better safety management. You have every right to speak with the OSHA inspector personally and confidentially. You can ask questions without the risk of losing your job. If there have been any near misses or injuries as a result of working in the facility, you should report them to the OSHA inspector.
From there, the OSHA inspector will let the employees and/or the employee representative whether the building and their employer is in compliance with OSHA regulations. If OSHA finds that your employer is not in compliance, they have the right to object to any citations. You should be fully involved in these meetings and discussions. There are other complaints that you can file with OSHA if you feel that your employer’s trying to get out of complying.
At the end of the day, you must do everything you can to ensure your workplace is safe for you and your fellow employees. Don’t just take your employer’s word for it that everything is safe and sound.