You hear about OSHA in entertainment jobs, mining jobs, and construction jobs. When discussing everything from cleaning windows on a high rise building to holding up lights above a concert; OSHA comes up in conversation. But what is OSHA?
What is OSHA?
OSHA is an abbreviation for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and is an agency under the United States Department of Labor. In 1970 its estimated around 14,000 workers in the US were killed while working. This included a number of people working with rigging. OSHA was formed as a way to regulate safe and healthful working conditions.
Established in 1971 OSHA is an agency created to uphold the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act). According to the act, all employees must get clear training and information on workplace hazards. These guidelines used to avoid hazards must be prohibited under federal OSHA standards.
Employees also have the right to know of any previous work injuries to have occurred on the job or any illnesses previously contracted on the job. Federal law protects employees from harassment when reporting to OSHA.
Employers under the OSH Act must find all work hazards and work to dispose of them or minimize them. Employers must provide proper safety equipment when working in dangerous conditions when eliminating these threats cannot be done. They must also maintain a public record of all injuries which occur the job. These records must also be available to all employees to review.
Why is OSHA important
First and foremost, OSHA is about workplace safety and health for both employers and employees. They allow millions of workers to feel safe from harm at work and thus more productive. OSHA provides training and materials to help keep you and your employees well educated. By inspecting the business, OSHA can make sure employers are keeping up to code.
The OSH Act affirms that US businesses must provide safe and healthy workplaces, give employees proper safety equipment, and train them to avoid work hazards. OSHA inspections keep track of all potentially hazardous working conditions so they can be properly regulated and reviewed. OSHA requires updates on all injuries that occur at a place of business. They then keep proper records of all reports to determine a business’s dedication to safety.
If a business does not comply with guidelines or are caught trying to circumnavigate the guidelines, they can be punished. Penalties include large monetary fines; these citations can also hinder a business looking for government contracts or bids for jobs.
An OSHA Overview
OSHA safety requirements for employers
If you are an employer under the OSH Act, you must provide a place of employment that is safe from hazards that can cause you illness, injury or death. In order to do this you must do the following:
- Maintain quality, dependable equipment, tools, and safety gear
- Have accessible medical care options for employees when they have an illness or injury that occurs in the workplace
- Arrange proper OSHA training for their job title
- Report accidents resulting in death or hospitalization to OSHA within eight hours of the event
- Maintain a record of all injury and illness rates related to accidents on the job or illnesses caused by the job
- Post injuries and make employees aware of these injuries for a predetermined period of time
Employer rights under OSHA
Inspections and penalties can make an employer’s head spin, even if they work hard to keep their job environments as safe as they can. Here are some tips to protect your rights as an employer:
- Always get an ID from your OSHA compliance officers
- Request to see paperwork based on all inspections
- You may walk with compliance officers as they inspect your facilities
- Have a formal meeting with the officers after their inspection
- May contest a citation or penalty
- Sign paperwork to keep trade secrets confidential with your inspectors
- Request to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for information on potentially toxic substances in your workplace
Employee rights under OSHA
Not only do employees have more rights to safety under the OSH Act, but they also have rights to maintain that safety. They can:
- Keep educated on up-to-date OSHA standards and regulations
- Request training or workplace information on emergency procedures
- Ask OSHA to investigate possible hazardous conditions
- Keep informed of actions and inspections OSHA has taken in order to investigate reports by employees
Ask to have their names kept from their employer when filing an OSHA complaint
- Observer any records, reports of reviews or hazards and any toxic substances related to those findings
- Review records of work-related injuries
- Resign from a job to find another with safer working conditions
Get Proper OSHA Training in Las Vegas, NV
Looking into training outreach education for your employees? Silver State Wire Rope and Rigging provides OSHA compliant rigging training in Las Vegas. Contact us today and we can get your crew scheduled to learn everything they need to know about OSHA regulations and procedures.