Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a Federal government agency that ensures that workplace conditions and environments are safe for the employees. The Act furnished guidelines, measures and safeguards that need to be ensured at workplace to protect the employees from hazardous conditions for health and workplace accidents. OSHA is very particular about the health and safety of the employees and demands strict compliance.
OSHA laws mandate the employer to communicate the laws to their employees by displaying posters at places that are commonly visited by employees. These include like notice board, dining hall, etc.
The law is applicable to private and Federal government bodies. OSHA covers only State and local government bodies if the state has an OSHA approved state program. However, OSHA is not applicable to:
- People who are self employed.
- Immediate members of family run farm business.
- Employees regulated by other federal agencies like MSHA and the US Coastguard.
What the law required you to do
The law has immense provisions for the employers and employees to ensure that the employees are safe from workplace hazards and accidents and the workplace environment is safe. OSHA enforces and sets workplace standards for businesses. OSHA provides for norms for safeguards to protect employees’ health and life. In addition to critical industries like construction, maritime and chemical industries, etc, they cover general business bodies as well in the form of sanitation and air quality standards.
Employers are responsible for ensuring a safe and hazard free working environment. They need to keep the posters at workplace to avoid hazard and adopt some color code systems. They need to train their workforce on the safe practices at the work in a language their employee understands.
He is required to keep accurate records of the injuries and illness at work. You need to examine the workplace regularly to ensure safe conditions. He is required to display safety posters and health and illness data at places where employees can see them. In case any accident happens where an employee loses his life or three or more employees go to hospital, employer has to notify the accident to OSHA within eight hours of the accident.
Compliance with the law
OSHA provides enough provisions for the employees to identify and report any accidents, hazardous workplace condition or practice to OSHA, though it is advised to bring them to the attention of employer first. Employees under this act are empowered to bring any aspect of non-compliance to the notice of OSHA thereby raising the concern for compliance for the employer.
The Federal agencies are stringent regarding the law and OSHA compliance officers are known for carrying out spot checking on the workplace cracking down any non-compliance. It comes accompanied with heavy fines and penalties. The whistle blowers are protected by the Federal agencies under the purview of Whistle Blower Protection Act.
Therefore, compliance with the law in the form of posters and regulations and measures becomes very important for the employer. It is advisable for the employer to keep track for the workplace conditions to ensure maximum protection and safety for the employees and compliance with the law.