The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, also known as OSHA, is an entity that regulates the safety and health of employees within the United States. As such, they are on the frontlines against workplace hazards and unfair employee treatment in the 21st century. According to OSHA, workers of today are afforded several basic rights regarding workplace safety. These rights are described below in individual sections. While this is by no means to be considered as a comprehensive listing of worker’s rights in the workplace today, it certainly helps to inform those who weren’t aware of OSHA’s influence within the manufacturing sector.
Every employee has the right to know about any potential workplace hazards, as well as the proper method for dealing with them. As employers are required by law to maintain a workplace that is free of any health or safety hazards, it’s important for managerial officials to make sure that all employees are aware of any such hazards. In some cases, advanced training may be required in order ensure against workplace injury.
To help identify any potential workplace hazards, it is recommended that employers utilize bulletin boards, posters or even company newsletters, in order to disseminate such risks and provide information for dealing with them. Holding regularly scheduled, group-oriented safety meetings also provide a great platform for fielding specific questions or concerns regarding workplace safety.
Making the Workplace Safer
Employees of today also have the right to participate in the creation and maintenance of a safe workplace. If an employee uncovers an unsafe situation, it is their right to enact change. This is typically done by reporting the situation or incident to a supervisor, though inaction on their behalf may require further intervention.
Moreover, workers also have the right to review records of previous workplace injuries or illnesses with their organization. Workplace-specific medical records as well as documents showing hazard testing or monitoring are all available for employees to review as needed, and employers should take every step possible to ensure accessibility to such information, as it is requested.
Refusing Unsafe Work
Today’s employees have the right to refuse work that is deemed unsafe, harmful or unusually dangerous. Not only does this apply to the nature of the task itself, but it also refers to an individual’s specific training or knowledge of the task at hand. If an employee doesn’t have the proper training to complete a task, it could prove to be dangerous in the end, and they should exercise their right to refuse the work.
Finally, employees of today have the right to report any such issues. Reports should be made to supervisors and managerial officials at first, though some may fail to act. If this is the case, workers absolutely have the right to report such issues directly to OSHA. Employees even have the opportunity to consult with an OSHA representative, in private, right at their place of business. This gives everyone, including entry-level and temporary workers, the chance to report any hazards or shortcomings in a safe and confidential manner.
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