You know that you have the right to go to work and return home in the same health. You know that if you are injured at work, you need to file a report. You also know that you have the right to worker’s compensation for most on-the-job injuries. What you may not know is exactly what role OSHA plays in your life as an employee.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is a federal agency that protects workers from health and safety hazards within their place of employment. The agency has established a set of rights and the allowance of an employee to speak up about dangerous conditions without the fear of retaliation from their employer. Here is an overview of what OSHA means to you as an employee.
OSHA has established a clear list of rights that every employee is entitled to. As listed on the OSHA website, these are:
- Being trained in a language that you understand
- To work on safe machines
- To be given required and appropriate safety gear for your duties
- To be protected from toxic chemicals
- The ability to request an OSHA inspection and to speak with the inspector
- To report an injury or illness that you suffer and to obtain a copy of your medical records
- To see any copies of workplace injury and illness logs
- To review any records of injury and illness in the workplace
- To obtain copies of any test results conducted to discover hazards in the workplace
Every employee, regardless of their occupation, has these rights.
Filing a Complaint
You have the right to file a complaint with the agency if you believe that your working conditions are not safe. Your complaint may be confidential if you choose, and you have the right to ask for an inspection. It is recommended that you first bring the dangerous conditions to your employer’s attention so that they may have the opportunity to remedy them.
You Are Protected from Retaliation
Some workers who are aware of hazardous or dangerous conditions don’t file complaints with OSHA because they are afraid of retaliation from their employer. Workers are protected by the agency who has made it illegal for an employer to retaliate against a worker who has filed a complaint. A worker may not be fired, transferred, demoted or otherwise disciplined for filing a complaint. If an employee believes that retaliation has occurred, they can file a whistleblower complaint with OSHA.
As an employee, you have the right to go to work under the assumption that you will be safe. While some accidents that occur at work are unavoidable, most can be attributed to negligence or error on someone’s part. If you have been injured on the job in San Luis Obispo, reach out to our team of attorneys. We understand OSHA regulations and we will assist you in any way we can. Call today to schedule your case evaluation.