OSHA and Workplace Safety

OSHA and Workplace Safety

OSHA is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – an agency which is part of the United States Department of Labor. It was created in 1970, when Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health act, which was then signed into law by President Nixon. OSHA is responsible for creating and enforcing regulations which ensure that employees have a workplace free of extraneous hazards that could cause injury, sickness, or death. OSHA’s jurisdiction covers most of the private sector, including workplaces in industrial, construction, and corporate areas.Some regulations enacted by OSHA have been particularly monumental in protecting the rights and well-being of workers. Permissible exposure limits (PELs) make sure that employees are not in excessive contact with potentially harmful dusts or chemicals, and address about 600 materials. Hazard Communication regulations assure that workers are properly educated about the risks of volatile products they may come into contact with in their place of employment. It is sometimes referred to as the “Right to Know” standard. Personal protective equipment requirements (PPEs) are fairly self-explanatory. Gloves, goggles, respirators, ear protection, and other specialized gear must be provided when necessary.While some occupations and workplaces have unavoidable dangers, employees are entitled to work in an environment which is as safe as possible. A workplace injury can have dire consequences for an individual, particularly if they are a family’s sole provider. Even a minor injury can cause a temporary loss of income that can have serious repercussions for people who rely on a steady payroll check to get by. Such situations are made even more frustrating and traumatic if an employer tries to deny compensation to an employee injured due to a workplace’s failure to meet OSHA standards.While workers must take seriously their responsibility to remain vigilant in the work place, and keep in mind their own safety and the safety of their co-workers, there is no excuse for a negligent employer. If you believe the actions (or inactions) of your employer are creating a hazardous work environment, or if you have been injured on the job, it is important to make sure the situation receives due attention. Legal professionals can help make sure you understand your rights and the potential for workers’ compensation. You can learn more about regulations or see how to file a complaint online at osha.gov.For more information, visit the website of Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers Lowenthal & Abrams, P.C.