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How OSHA works for you

Following the passing of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the United States congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, as part of the United States Department of Labor to set safety guidelines for businesses and to provide resources to protect American workers. The administration's goals are to keep employees informed of their rights in the workplace and to make certain that employers follow the standards set by OSHA to provide their workers with an environment free of known dangers.

Per OSHA regulations, employees have many rights including the right to be informed of any potential dangers or hazards in the workplace, the right to collect information regarding to work-related injuries or illnesses that have taken place at their workplace and will receive protection from any retaliation from an employer following an employee's complaint. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will also work with employees who file complaints about unsafe working conditions, and will investigate the site to assure all safety measures have been met.

Employers are required to not only provide a safe working environment, but to also provide necessary safety equipment and gear to employee at no cost, list previous injuries, illnesses and OSHA citations as well as an OSHA poster and maintain a log of all work-related illnesses and injuries.

If you are the victim of a construction injury, it is important to act as soon as possible. You may be entitled to workers' compensation, and your company may be found to be in violation of the OSHA guidelines, which may leave other workers vulnerable to accidents. There are whistleblower protections in place to assure that your employer cannot retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

Source: findlaw.com, "Workplace Safety: OSHA and OSH Act Overview," Accessed Mar. 1, 2017

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