OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which was passed in 1970 and which is intended to protect the right of workers to a safe work environment. OSHA also stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This is a government agency whose job it is to make sure employers comply with the provisions in the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA investigates workplaces for safety, issues citations and penalties for unsafe practices can shut down workplaces when unsafe practices persist, and can otherwise protect the rights of workers and take action when a workplace is unsafe.What Does OSHA Require of my Employer?
OSHA imposes a number of requirements on employers. Employers must provide notification to employees of their rights under OSHA. They must maintain a safe workplace and comply with all OSHA standards, which cover everything from workplace air quality to noise in the workplace to the materials used for flooring to how ladders and stairs must be constructed. Employers must also notify employees of hazards in the workplace, train employees on OSHA rules and on how to stay safe and provide employees with reports of OSHA inspections upon request.
The specific list of requirements that your employer must meet will depend upon your industry and is likely a very long list. If you suspect that your employer is taking any safety risks or is not in compliance with any safety laws, the best thing to do is to consult with a Massachusetts workplace injury attorney who has experience with OSHA violations. Your attorney can help you to understand your rights and the requirements imposed on your employer by OSHA.What Rights do I Have Under OSHA?
You have a number of rights under OSHA. You have the right to a safe workplace and you have the right to stop work if there is a safety hazard or OSHA violation that puts you at imminent risk of danger. You have the right to make a complaint to OSHA or to request an inspection of your workplace if you suspect violations. You have the right to safety training and to be informed of any hazards that exist in your workplace. You also have the right to make a complaint against your employer for safety violations without retaliation.
To learn more about your OSHA rights or for help enforcing those rights, you should speak with a law firm that has experience representing clients dealing with workplace injuries. There are a vast array of protections provided to employees and you should not have to cope with an unsafe work environment in order to earn a living.How Can I Find out About My Rights Under OSHA?
Your employer is required to post a Department of Labor poster in the workplace providing information about your OSHA rights. You may also visit the website of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration to learn about your rights and your employer’s obligations under OSHA. The Massachusetts Labor and Workforce Department can also be a source of information on workplace safety issues. If you have specific concerns about your rights or a potential OSHA violation, however, your best option may be to speak with a Massachusetts work injury lawyer who can review your situation. OSHA is a complicated piece of legislation with a great many requirements and you should have professional assistance in understanding and interpreting the important worker protection laws.How Can I Determine if an OSHA Violation has Occurred?
If you suspect an OSHA violation has occurred, you should speak with your employer who has the obligation to provide you with information on OSHA standards. Your union representative, if you are in a union, can also help you to determine if a violation has occurred. Learning about the regulations from your employer or from the OSHA website can also help you to determine if a violation has occurred or is occurring.
If you suspect a violation, you have the right to request an OSHA inspection. The law also allows you to attend the OSHA inspection, to speak privately with the inspector from OSHA, to be part of the meetings between your employer and the OSHA inspector, and to a copy of the results of the OSHA inspection.
If your employer has had a past OSHA inspection or past OSHA complaints, you can also be entitled to review this information as well. A Massachusetts work injury lawyer can help you to obtain the prior records of violations you need in order to demonstrate that an OSHA violation has occurred. This can be important if you wish to make a claim arising out of a workplace injury since the violation of OSHA can be used as evidence to prove your case.What if My Employer is Violating OSHA?
If your employer is violating OSHA, a number of things can occur. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration can issue sanctions, including fines and other penalties. In some cases, a workplace can even be shut down until the safety violations are corrected. In addition, if the violation leads to an injury, you may be entitled to compensation as a result of the OSHA violation.How Can I Prove an OSHA Violation has Occurred?
To prove an OSHA violation has occurred, you will want to obtain as much information as you can about the regulation that your employer has potentially violated. You will want to document the specifics of the violation. You may obtain copies of reports by OSHA inspectors of a violation. You may also obtain past OSHA records to prove that your employer has a history of safety violations. All of this evidence will assist you in making a claim for a workplace injury based on an OSHA safety violation. A Massachusetts’ work injury lawyer can help you to get the evidence you need to successfully prove your employer has violated workplace safety laws.How do I File a Complaint if My Employer is Violating OSHA?
You may file a complaint about an OSHA violation directly with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Complaints can be filed using an online Complaint Form. You may also download the complaint form or obtain a copy from your regional or area office and fax or mail the form in. Finally, you may contact your regional OSHA office to discuss your complaint via telephone. To find the appropriate office, use this list of OSHA Regional or Area Offices on the OSHA website. If the hazard is life-threatening or there is an emergency situation, you should also contact 1-800-321-OSHA.
If you have been harmed by an OSHA violation or are at risk of a work injury, it is also advisable to contact a Boston work injury attorney for help in making a claim against your employer.Do I Have the Right to the Report From OSHA Inspections?
You have the right to obtain records on OSHA inspections from your employer. Not only can you obtain a report from an OSHA inspection but you may also have the right to attend the inspection, speak privately to the inspector and sit in on meetings between your employer and the OSHA inspector.What Protections do I Have if I Report OSHA Violations?
Employers may not discriminate against or retaliate against you if you have reported an OSHA violation or a suspected violation. If you have been retaliated against or the victim of discrimination for expressing your rights, you can file a complaint with both the state and federal OSHA. You may also contact an attorney o learn about pursuing a claim for damages.What if My Employer has a History of Violations?
If your employer has a history of OSHA violations, evidence of this history can be used when making a claim for workplace injuries arising out of safety violations. A Massachusetts work injury lawyer can help you to gather the past OSHA records to prove a history of violations and can assist you in using this evidence to your advantage in proving a case against your employer.What Rights do I Have if I am Injured at Work as a Result of an OSHA Violation?
When a work injury occurs, you are typically limited to filing a workers’ comp claim in order to collect compensation from your employer. However, when an OSHA violation occurs, there may be certain options for filing a personal injury lawsuit for additional damages, including filing third-party claims. To learn more about all of your options after a work injury, contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman today to schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help.