Missouri Workplace Safety Lawyers
Workplace Health & Safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 requires employers to provide workplaces that are free from serious recognized hazards and to comply with occupational safety and health standards. Under this law, an employer must tell you if you are working with hazardous materials; give you specific training that you need to do your job safely and efficiently; keep record of all workplace injuries, deaths and exposures to toxic or hazardous substances.
What is Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was created by Congress to help protect workers by setting and enforcing workplace safety and health standards and by providing safety and health information, training and assistance to workers and employers.
Workers employed in the private sector are covered by an OSHA regional office under federal or state OSHA program. Public sector workers are covered by the state OSHA programs, but not under the federal OSHA jurisdiction. Every employee has the right under OSHA to question or report unsafe conditions in the workplace, request inspections as well as file a lawsuit in court to correct unsafe conditions. Employees are also protected under OSHA for reporting such conditions. They cannot be fired for doing so or retaliated against in the workplace.
That said, both workers and employers have a responsibility to keep their workplace safe. OSHA requires workers to comply with all safety and health standards that apply to their actions on the job. Employees must read the OSHA poster; follow the employer’s safety and health rules and wear or use all required gear and safety equipment; follow safe practices for the job as directed by the employer; report hazardous conditions to a supervisor; and report hazardous conditions to OSHA if they are not rectified by the employer.
OSHA requires that employers, in addition to providing a safe and healthful workplace, also provide training to employees, medical examinations and keep record of workplace injuries.
Remember that your employer cannot retaliate in any way, shape or form if you complain to authorities about a valid hazardous condition in your workplace. The OSHA Act and other laws protect workers who complain to their employer, union, OSHA or other government agencies. You cannot be transferred, denied a raise, have your hours reduced, be fired or punished in any other way for exercising a right given to you under the OSH Act.
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