How does OSHA protect me in the workplace?

In 1970, the United States Department of Labor created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, known as OSHA, as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, known as OSH, in an effort to help protect employees from dangers in the workplace. Unfortunately, not all employers always adhere to the strict standards outlined by OSHA, and even when they do, many workplaces are inherently dangerous, and accidents do occur.

Among the employee rights under OSHA is the right to have an OSHA area director inspect a workplace if there is a suspicion of standards violations or potentially hazardous conditions along with an employee representative present at the time of the inspection tour. This will allow OSHA to determine the safety, or lack thereof, of a job site or workplace environment to assure that all standards have been met.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration states that employers have a duty to adhere to many safety obligations including providing safe tools and equipment for their employees, displaying an OSHA poster which explains all an employee’s rights granted by the OSH Act, provide safety training when necessary, and most importantly assure a workplace is free of known hazards.

Not all workplace accidents are preventable, as unforeseen situations may arise that put a worker in danger. Work-related injuries are covered by Social Security Disability however, if the injury prevents someone from working for at least a year or is expected to end in death. Social Security Disability benefits are not meant to fully cover costs associated with treating or rehabilitation for the injury, but may provide financial relief for a victim dealing with a long-term workplace injury.

Source:, “OSHA and Construction Workers’ Right to a Safe Workplace,” Accessed Jan. 2, 2017

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