Recently the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the release of revised informational material that clarifies employers’ and workers’ rights. The material also contains information on how employers can protect their workers from dangers in the general, maritime and construction industries.
Our North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers in Charlotte and elsewhere found the Workers’ Rights booklet most informative. More specifically, the section that included what employers MUST do is helpful to employees who want to know more about their rights and privileges at work. Some of them include:
-Alert workers regarding hazards in the workplace through various means including labels, color-coded systems, training, alarms and chemical information sheets.
-Train workers in a language they can comprehend.
-Maintain accurate records pertaining to all work-related illnesses and injuries.
-Perform all tests required by OSHA in the work environment, like air sampling.
-Provide hearing or other medical exams required by OSHA.
-Display OSHA citations and illness and injury data where employees can view them.
-Inform OSHA within 8 hours of a workplace death or if three or more employees are hospitalized.
-Post the official OSHA poster prominently so that workers can read the responsibilities and rights under the OSH Act.
Here’s a look at some of the other revised and new OSHA material:
Small Entity Compliance Guide for Respiratory Protection Standard offers small businesses a step-by-step guide that will assist both employers and workers to establish and execute a respiratory protection program. Businesses are required to have a respiratory protection program if their employees:
-Work in area where the oxygen levels are inadequate or potentially inadequate.
-Are possibly exposed to dangerous levels of hazardous vapors or gases.
-Are exposed to other respiratory dangers like mists, sprays, airborne biological hazards, dusts, fumes, and other airborne elements.
Employer Rights and Responsibilities explains what occurs following an inspection. If an employer is cited for a violation, the OSHA compliance safety officer must discuss:
-What the violation is.
-What you can do to correct the circumstances causing the violation.
-When the corrections need to be completed.
-What, if any, penalties were imposed.
Additional materials from OSHA include:
–Aerial Lift Fall Protection Over Water in Shipyards and Aerial Lifts Protect Yourself both illustrate the safety measures necessary to protect workers from electrocutions, collapses and falls which are all common causes of workplace fatalities.
–Permit-Required Confined Spaces in General Industry defines what a permit-required confined space is and what workers need to do before going into a confined space like a tank, silo, underground vault, manhole or storage bin.
Other OSHA publications that we have written about on our North Carolina Workers’ Compensation blog include:
–Laboratory Safety which discussed how lab managers can protect their technicians from exposure to dangerous biological, chemical and physical hazards.
–Trench Safety which highlighted the deadly work of excavation leading to an average loss of 2 workers a month in trench collapses.
–Nail Gun Safety is paramount considering it is the tool of choice in the construction industry.
–Heat-related illness focused on the dangers of working in extreme temperatures and its deadly consequences.
Go to OSHA’s Publications site to order your free copies of this valuable information.
If you or a family member has suffered any kind of workplace illness or injury, contact the Lee Law Offices, P.A. today for help and a free and confidential appointment to discuss your case. Call 1-800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
North Carolina Workers’ Compensation System Detailed by Experienced Workers’ Comp Law Firm, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, October 4, 2011.
Employee Hearing Loss Often a Concern at Noisy Job Sites Using Loud Machinery in Greensboro, Elsewhere, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, October 15, 2011.