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New! – “NIOSH Aerial Lift Operator Simulator Program Helps Identify Hazards!” #Safety

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The NEW NIOSH Aerial Lift Hazard Recognition Simulator, which is intended to help aerial lift operators familiarize themselves with hazards they may encounter on the job is now available for download to use as a training tool at your workplace. In this instance, NIOSH uses the term “aerial lifts” to describe multiple types of lifts, including scissor lifts and boom lifts, which are commonly used on construction sites for elevating workers to various heights.

The simulator is intended to provide a safe, controlled environment in which users—employers, trainers, safety and health professionals, and aerial lift operators—can navigate a realistic workplace with different types of hazards such as potholes, ramps, crushing hazards, and tip-over hazards. The simulator notifies users when they encounter a hazard so that they can identify and avoid hazards on actual work sites.

According to NIOSH, the simulator is designed to help potential or new aerial lift operators acclimate to aerial lift operation and help experienced operators refresh their knowledge on the associated hazards. The agency stresses that the simulator is not a substitute for the required training to operate an aerial lift.

Instructions on downloading and launching the simulator can be found on the NIOSH website, along with additional information on aerial lifts.

Aerial Lifts

Aerial lifts are powered and mobile platforms that are used for elevating workers to various heights, which exposes workers to fall hazards.

Training is necessary for anyone using aerial work platforms and equipment. In an effort to create awareness about common workplace hazards when using aerial lifts, NIOSH has developed educational tools and products. Employers, trainers, safety and health professionals and aerial lift operators can use the following information to prevent work-related falls.

Note: NIOSH uses the term ‘aerial lifts’ as an overarching term to capture multiple types of lifts, such as scissor lifts and boom lifts. It is important to note that both OSHA and ANSI standards vary for different types of lifts.

Spotlight
NIOSH Aerial Lift Hazard Recognition Simulator

The Simulator, available at no cost, provides a realistic workplace with multiple, dangerous hazard types that users must navigate. Experienced aerial lift operators can refresh their knowledge, and new operators can familiarize themselves with hazards they may encounter on the job. Using the Simulator is not a substitute for required training to operate an aerial lift.

Aerial lifts, commonly used on construction sites, expose workers to falls. To prevent these falls and other aerial lift-related injuries and deaths, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) developed the Aerial Lift Hazard Recognition Simulator. This flyer gives employers, trainers, safety professionals, and aerial lift operators information on the Simulator and how to access it.

PDF File About the program is downloadable here : Aerial Lift Hazard Recognition Simulator[PDF – 979 KB]

Download the software here: NIOSH Aerial Lift Hazard Recognition Simulator today! Note that the software download is a ZIP file and can be used on any Windows based PC!

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“N95 Day: A NIOSH-Approved Holiday”

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Today is the 5th annual N95 Day, which focuses on respiratory protection awareness and proper use of N95 respirators. Here are some ways you can participate:

  • Social media. Look for N95-related information on Twitter (@NIOSH, @NPPTL, #N95Day) Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest as well as the annual N95 Day NIOSH Science Blog. Share NIOSH’s infographics, and be sure to follow ASSE (@ASSE_Safety) and other campaign partners to find free training, resources, and safety tips.
  • Hospital respiratory protection program resources. NIOSH has launched a web page of resources dedicated to hospital respiratory protection programs.
  • Webinars. NIOSH is presenting two webinars this year: 1) The Science Behind Respirator Fit Testing in the Workplace: Past, Present and Future; and 2)  Why Do We Have to Fit Test? And Why Every Year? Although registration is now closed, the agency will post the webinar videos and slides after the event. Check the campaign page for updates.
  • ASSE materials. Check out ASSE’s Tech Brief on ANSI/ASSE Z88.2-2015, Practices for Respiratory Protection and visit our respiratory protection standards page.

Source: ASSE, NIOSH, CDC

“OSHA Issues Special Zika Guidance to Employers”

Emergency Preparedness and Response   Interim guidance for protecting workers from occupational exposure to Zika virus

Highlights

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued “interim guidance” to provide employers and workers information and advice on preventing occupational exposure to the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

The guidance’s recommended actions (Control & Prevention) for employers and general outdoor workers include the following:

  • Employers should inform workers about their risks of exposure.
  • Employers should provide workers insect repellants and encourage their use. Workers should use the repellants.
  • Employers should provide workers with clothing that covers their hands, arms, legs, and other exposed skin and encourage them to wear the clothing. They also should consider providing workers with hats with mosquito netting that covers the neck and face. Workers should wear the provided clothing, as well as socks that cover the ankles and lower legs.
  • In warm weather, employers should encourage workers to wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, which provides a barrier to mosquitos. Workers should wear this type of clothing.
  • Employers and workers should eliminate sources of standing water (e.g., tires, buckets, cans, bottles, and barrels), which are considered mosquito breeding areas. Employers should train workers to recognize the importance of getting rid of these breeding areas at worksites.
  • If requested, employers should consider reassigning to indoor tasks any female worker who indicates she is pregnant or may become pregnant, as well as any male worker who has a sexual partner who is pregnant or may become pregnant. Workers in these circumstances should talk to their supervisors about outdoor work assignments.
  • Workers should seek medical attention “promptly” if symptoms from infection develop.

Employers and workers in healthcare and laboratory settings are advised to follow good infection control and biosafety practices (including universal precautions) as appropriate and specific biosafety guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for working with the Zika virus in the laboratory.

OSHA also noted that mosquito control workers may require additional precautions — more protective clothing and enhanced skin protection — beyond those recommended for general outdoor workers. Workers who mix, load, apply, or perform other tasks involving wide-area (or area) insecticides may need additional protection to prevent or reduce exposure to hazardous chemicals. When applying insecticides, these workers may require respirators, worn in accordance with OSHA’s respirator standard.

For employers of workers with suspected or confirmed Zika virus, OSHA recommends “general guidance.” This includes making certain supervisors and potentially exposed workers know about Zika symptoms, training workers to receive immediate medical attention after suspected exposure, and considering options for providing sick leave during the infectious period.

Employers with workers who travel to or through Zika-affected areas, such as travel industry employees, airline crews, and cruise line workers, the agency recommends following certain “precautions” outlined by the CDC, including flexible travel and leave policies and delaying travel to Zika-affected areas.

Sources: OSHA, Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2016

“Fall Protection: Working On Tops Of Trucks & Rolling Stock……Which Rule Do I Follow?…. OSHA? DOT? “

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) wants more control over trucking, and the latest focus is on fall protection. Tank fleets, in particular, are being targeted in the current OSHA initiative.

The agency is seeking comments from industry on whether or not it should develop specific regulations to “cover falls from rolling stock and commercial motor vehicles.” The May 24 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) defines motor vehicle to include “tractor-trailer trucks, tank trucks and hopper trucks.” A regulation would cover any employee working more than four feet off the ground.

The agency is seeking comments from industry on whether or not it should develop specific regulations to “cover falls from rolling stock and commercial motor vehicles.” The May 24 notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) defines motor vehicle to include “tractor-trailer trucks, tank trucks and hopper trucks.” A regulation would cover any employee working more than four feet off the ground.

This is a proposal that we have to take seriously,” says John Conley, president of National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC). “OSHA really wants to get more involved in the trucking industry. I just hope that DOT (the Department of Transportation) will object to this intrusion into what is, and should be, its turf. Transportation vehicles present a unique workplace and not one to which OSHA can just apply its standards from other stationary facilities. NTTC will submit comments — which are due August 23 — reflecting the views and concerns of our members.”

Conley says OSHA is taking an unusual approach to the fall protection issue. Rather than propose new regulations for commercial vehicles in the 292-page rulemaking, which contains many significant changes to 29CFR Part 1910, it is asking for information on whether there is “a need to propose specific requirements for the protection of employees exposed to falls from rolling stock and motor vehicles.” The agency states in its rulemaking that “If, in response to this issue, OSHA receives sufficient comments and evidence to warrant additional rulemaking, a separate proposed rule will be issued.”

There always has been a bit of a gray area regarding what regulatory authority, if any, OSHA has over trucking equipment, according to Conley. Since its inception, OSHA has tried to get its nose under the trucking tent and into the cab and onto the trailer. OSHA and DOT signed a memorandum of understanding in the 1970s where each agency agreed to not regulate where the other had established jurisdiction. DOT has maintained that it regulates truck equipment but has never addressed fall protection and trailers. OSHA’s directive to its field staff is still to not “cite employee exposure to fall hazards on the tops of rolling stock unless the rolling stock was positioned inside or contiguous to a building where the installation of fall protection is feasible.”

“Make no mistake that OSHA would very much like to propose a regulation on fall protection in this proposed rulemaking, but must have felt it would be challenged as to whether it was the responsible regulatory agency,” Conley says. “The effort to ask questions to determine if such a regulation needs to be written should be viewed as an effort by OSHA to either exercise that authority or to pressure DOT to do so. Remember, OSHA is much emboldened in the Obama Administration, and a power grab makes bureaucratic turf sense.

“Please keep in mind that if you conduct operations in mining facilities or locations that are governed by the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH), that agency does not have a similar agreement with DOT and does require fall protection equipment for employees who go on top of trailers. Also, the OSHA proposal and request for information does not apply to railroad cars since the Federal Railroad Administration already has jurisdiction over that equipment.”

The Cargo Tank Risk Management Committee (CTRMC) also argues that OSHA has no legitimate reason for wresting control over motor vehicles — specifically cargo tanks — from DOT. The tank truck industry and DOT have done a good job of managing fall hazards on motor vehicles over the years.

“Our data and evidence suggest the frequency of injuries sustained in a fall from a transportation tank is extremely low,” says John Cannon, secretary of CTRMC and vice-president of engineering at Walker Group Holdings. “A typical large cargo tank motor vehicle fleet makes over 300 deliveries per day and has averaged less than two falls from its tank trailers per year. Most of the falls were from the ladder, not the tank top.”

He adds that the effective improvement of worker safety from fall-related injuries on transportation tanks is a complex challenge, requiring the participation of many industry stakeholders. The CTRMC was formed for that very purpose. The group held its first meeting in March, and the next one is scheduled for September.

“We’re taking a proactive approach to fall protection on transport equipment, and we are getting outstanding participation from the fleets, shippers, and equipment manufacturers that are part of CTRMC,” Cannon says. “We believe the best solutions come from those that are closest to an issue. The tank truck industry has many small businesses with fragile economic models. We need to ensure that improvements related to workers on transportation tanks are financially feasible.”

Tank truck fleets do provide fall protection training for truck drivers. Training typically includes fall hazard recognition and company-specific policies to reduce the potential for falls. Trucking companies with the most aggressive training programs cover falls during the initial orientation, recurrent training, periodic safety communications, and remedial training.

Drivers are protected from fall hazards in a variety of ways. Loading racks at shipper facilities have fixed railings. Fall arrest systems (harnesses and retractable lanyards) can be installed at the loading rack or on the transport tank. Some transport tanks have side walkways, handrails, and outer railings. Some transport tanks are built with systems (like bottom loading) that remove any need for the driver to climb on top of the tank.

The battle goes on. The only OSHA rule in place is the 1996 Rolling Stock rule and the GDC.

If it were me, I’d use the following document as guidance: http://resources.xlgroup.com/docs/xlenvironmental/library/risk_consulting/5241_Vehicle_Fall_Protection.pdf

PDF Source: XL Insurance

 

 

“New Research Supports OSHA Fit Testing Requirements, Says NIOSH”

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The percentage of improperly fitted respirators increases with the length of time between worker fit tests, giving support to the annual fit-testing requirements in OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard, according to new research from NIOSH.

The standard requires fit testing every year and whenever an employee’s physical condition changes, such as facial scarring or an obvious change in body weight. Note that OSHA Fit Testing requires that a Doctor certify that every employee wearing a respirator, has the pulmonary function to do so and each employee MUST be certified by a Doctor prior to USING / WEARING a respirator.

For the study, NIOSH researchers focused on the commonly worn N95 filtering facepiece respirator. During a three-year period, researchers measured the fit of the respirators every six months on the volunteers, 134 of whom participated during the entire study.

Researchers found that after one year, an estimated 10 percent of workers’ respirators did not fit properly. Two and three years later, that figure rose to 20 percent and 26 percent, respectively. Additionally, nearly one-quarter of subjects who lost more than 20 pounds were unable to maintain an acceptable fit, according to the study.

See OSHA Requirements – Guidlines can be found at the link below:

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=12716

The study was published online in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene, 12-2016

 

 

 

“Protect Your Workers From Summer Heat Stress”

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For more more information and to download the poster above, visit the following link:http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/infographic.html

In Some Parts of the U.S., Today And Many More Days This Summer, Will Be A Very Hot Day. Get The New Revised iOS OSHA Heat Safety Tool by clicking On Link Below. Available For Android Too. https://lnkd.in/bYY2d8g

  
 

 

“OSHA’s Proposed New Beryllium Rule Remains in Limbo”

In a new article from the International Business Times says the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has spent 8 months reviewing a proposal to strengthen rules on beryllium exposure, overshooting its deadline by more than 5 months. It is the latest delay in regulations that have been more than 13 years in the making.

As many as 134,000 workers in the U.S. are currently exposed to beryllium – mostly in the aerospace, ceramics, construction and electronics industries, according to research by NIOSH. When the metal is ground into dust and inhaled, it can cause chronic beryllium disease, a potentially fatal lung disorder. Some people are more sensitive to beryllium than others. As it stands, OSHA’s existing beryllium exposure limit of 2.0 micrograms per cubic meter dates from research conducted in the 1940s.

Keith Wrightson, a workplace-safety expert at Public Citizen, a consumer-advocacy group pushing for an updated regulation, says his group wants the exposure limit lowered to 0.1 micrograms per cubic meter. Since the 1970s, NIOSH has backed a limit of 0.5 micrograms per cubic meter.

Once OMB finishes its review, OSHA has to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking and solicit public comments before issuing a final rule, which could take another year. The delay stems from the agency’s compliance with the Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act, applicable only to OSHA, EPA and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – which requires that the agencies undergo a special consultation process with business representatives before issuing new rules.

“N95 Day” – 9/5/2014 – National Awareness Day Highlights Importance of Respirators

m3-8210N95__14889_zoomOn September 5 th the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will celebrate “N95 Day,” a national health awareness day focused on increasing workers’ knowledge of on-the-job respiratory safety and protection. NIOSH estimates that every day over 20 million workers, in dozens of industries, are exposed to airborne health risks. The theme for the 2014 observance is “Respirator Preparedness: Where Technology Meets Good Practices.”

N95 awareness day activities include: a live webinar with NIOSH professionals discussing respirator preparedness in the healthcare setting, an online blog, Pinterest-ready infographics, tweets throughout the day (#N95Day), as well as a twitter chat with NIOSH N95 respirator experts. The twitter chat (#N95Chat) will touch upon various industries as the panel of experts discusses best practices for using this type of respiratory protection while taking questions from participants.

“It is vitally important that employers and workers know about the products they are using and understand how to use them properly for their workplace,” explains Maryann D’Alessandro, Director of the NIOSH National Personal Protective Technology Laboratory.  “N95 Day allows us to place even greater emphasis on making sure that accurate and actionable information is available for employers and workers alike.”

The N95 respirator is the most common of the seven types of particulate filtering facepiece respirators. This product filters at least 95% of airborne particles. NIOSH recommends workers who may be exposed to hazardous airborne particles to follow the OSHA respiratory protection standard and use N95 filtering facepiece respirators. Respirators should only be used when engineering control systems are not feasible. Engineering control systems, such as adequate ventilation or scrubbing of contaminants are the preferred control methods for reducing worker exposures.

For more information about N95 Day, visit or search the twitter #N95Day. Workers can also find helpful tools and information on the Respirator Trusted Information Page at knowits.niosh.govExternal Web Site Icon .

NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. For more information about NIOSH visit  http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ .

 

Health Care Workers Lack Hazardous Chemicals Training According To NIOSH

Stock Photo by Sean Locke www.digitalplanetdesign.com

“Safeguarding health care workers from potential occupational hazards is an essential part of providing good jobs for these dedicated men and women, and furthering high-quality patient care,” NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard said.

  • Health care workers who routinely come in contact with hazardous chemicals lack training and awareness of employer procedures to adequately protect themselves from exposure, according to a new NIOSH study.
  • The survey of more than 12,000 health care workers found that workers administering aerosolized antibiotics were the least likely to have received training on their safe use, followed closely by those exposed to surgical smoke.
  • The study is the first in a series of reports describing current practices used by health care workers to minimize chemical exposures as well as barriers to using recommended personal protective equipment.

Health care workers who routinely come in contact with hazardous chemicals lack training and awareness of employer procedures to adequately protect themselves from exposure, according to a new NIOSH study.

The survey of more than 12,000 health care workers found that workers administering aerosolized antibiotics were the least likely to have received training on their safe use, followed closely by those exposed to surgical smoke.

Conducted in 2011, the Web-based survey is the largest federally sponsored study of health care workers that addresses safety and health practices and use of hazardous chemicals, according to NIOSH. The study results are published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

“Safeguarding health care workers from potential occupational hazards is an essential part of providing good jobs for these dedicated men and women, and furthering high-quality patient care,” NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard said. “The limited information available on safe-handling practices associated with use of hazardous chemicals makes our work even more important.”

The study is the first in a series of reports describing current practices used by health care workers to minimize chemical exposures as well as barriers to using recommended personal protective equipment. The chemical agents under study included antineoplastic agents, high-level disinfectants, aerosolized medications, anesthetic gases, surgical smoke and chemical sterilants.

Among the highlights, the study found that:

  • Workers administering aerosolized antibiotics were the least likely to have received training on their safe use (48 percent reported they were never trained), followed closely by those exposed to surgical smoke.
  • Workers most likely to have received training were those who administered antineoplastic drugs (95 percent) and those who used hydrogen peroxide gas plasma as a chemical sterilant (92 percent).
  • For those exposed to surgical smoke, 40 percent did not know if their employers had safe-handling procedures. For those exposed to anesthetic gases, 25 percent did not know.
  • Those who administered antineoplastic drugs were least likely to report that they did not know whether their employer had procedures for minimizing employees’ exposure (3 percent).
  • Chemical-specific training and awareness of employer safe-handling procedures varied by employer work setting (ambulatory health care services versus hospital).

NIOSH said the survey’s findings will help the agency and other health care stakeholders better understand current health and safety practices related to working with hazardous chemical agents; identify gaps in current knowledge about those practices; and design further research in collaboration with partners for addressing those gaps.

 

Defining The Word “Safety” – Part 1 – James Roughton

According to OSHA: You have the right to a safe workplace –
En EspañolTiếng Việt Nam

You have the right to a safe workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) was passed to prevent workers from being killed or seriously harmed at work. The law requires employers to provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. The Act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which sets and enforces protective workplace safety and health standards. OSHA also provides information, training and assistance to workers and employers. Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or that there are serious hazards.

Contact us if you have questions or want to file a complaint. We will keep your information confidential. We are here to help you.

Workers’ Rights Booklet [PDF*]

Workers’ rights under the OSH Act

Workers are entitled to working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm. To help assure a safe and healthful workplace, OSHA also provides workers with the right to:

  • Ask OSHA to inspect their workplace;
  • Use their rights under the law without retaliation and discrimination;
  • Receive information and training about hazards, methods to prevent harm, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace. The training must be in a language you can understand;
  • Get copies of test results done to find hazards in the workplace;
  • Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses;
  • Get copies of their medical records;

Who OSHA Covers

Private Sector Workers

Most employees in the nation come under OSHA’s jurisdiction. OSHA covers private sector employers and employees in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and other U.S. jurisdictions either directly through Federal OSHA or through an OSHA-approved state program. State-run health and safety programs must be at least as effective as the Federal OSHA program. To find the contact information for the OSHA Federal or State Program office nearest you, see the Regional and Area Offices map.

State and Local Government Workers

Employees who work for state and local governments are not covered by Federal OSHA, but have OSH Act protections if they work in a state that has an OSHA-approved state program. Four additional states and one U.S. territory have OSHA approved plans that cover public sector employees only. This includes: Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and the Virgin Islands. Private sector workers in these four states and the Virgin Islands are covered by Federal OSHA.

Federal Government Workers

Federal agencies must have a safety and health program that meet the same standards as private employers. Although OSHA does not fine federal agencies, it does monitor federal agencies and responds to workers’ complaints. The United States Postal Service (USPS) is covered by OSHA.

Not covered by the OSH Act:

  • Self-employed;
  • Immediate family members of farm employers that do not employ outside employees; and
  • Workplace Hazards regulated by another Federal agency (for example, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Coast Guard).

OSHA standards: Protection on the Job

OSHA standards are rules that describe the methods that employers must use to protect their employees from hazards. There are OSHA standards for Construction work, Agriculture, Maritime operations, and General Industry, which are the standards that apply to most worksites. These standards limit the amount of hazardous chemicals workers can be exposed to, require the use of certain safe practices and equipment, and require employers to monitor hazards and keep records of workplace injuries and illnesses. Examples of OSHA standards include requirements to: provide fall protection, prevent trenching cave ins, prevent some infectious diseases, assure that workers safely enter confined spaces, prevent exposure to harmful substances like asbestos, put guards on machines, provide respirators or other safety equipment, and provide training for certain dangerous jobs.

Employers must also comply with the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act, which requires employers to keep their workplace free of serious recognized hazards. This clause is generally cited when no OSHA standard applies to the hazard.

Workers can ask OSHA to Inspect their Workplace

Workers, or their representatives, may file a complaint and ask OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA standards. A worker can tell OSHA not to let their employer know who filed the complaint. It is a violation of the Act for an employer to fire, demote, transfer or discriminate in any way against a worker for filing a complaint or using other OSHA rights.

You can file a complaint online; download the form [En Espanol*] and mail or fax it to the nearest OSHA office; or call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742). Most complaints sent in on line may be resolved informally over the phone with your employer. Written complaints that are signed by a worker or their representative and submitted to the closest OSHA office are more likely to result in an on-site OSHA inspection.

When the OSHA inspector arrives, workers and their representatives have the right to:

  • Go along on the inspection.
  • Talk privately with the OSHA inspector.
  • Take part in meetings with the inspector and the employer before and after the inspection is conducted.

Where there is no union or employee representative, the OSHA inspector must talk confidentially with a reasonable number of workers during the course of the investigation.

When an inspector finds violations of OSHA standards or serious hazards, OSHA may issue citations and fines. A citation includes methods an employer may use to fix a problem and the date by when the corrective actions must be completed. Workers only have the right to challenge the deadline for when a problem must be resolved. Employers, on the other hand, have the right to contest whether there is a violation or any other part of the citation. Workers or their representatives must notify OSHA that they want to be involved in the appeals process if the employer challenges a citation.

If you send in a complaint requesting an OSHA inspection, you have the right to find out the results of the OSHA inspection and request a review if OSHA decides not to issue citations.

Employer Responsibilities

Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe workplace. Employers MUST provide their employees with a workplace that does not have serious hazards and follow all relevant OSHA safety and health standards. Employers must find and correct safety and health problems. OSHA further requires employers to try to eliminate or reduce hazards first by making changes in working conditions rather than just relying on masks, gloves, ear plugs or other types of personal protective equipment (PPE). Switching to safer chemicals, enclosing processes to trap harmful fumes, or using ventilation systems to clean the air are examples of effective ways to get rid of or minimize risks.

Employers MUST also:

  • Inform employees about hazards through training, labels, alarms, color-coded systems, chemical information sheets and other methods.
  • Keep accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
  • Perform tests in the workplace, such as air sampling required by some OSHA standards.
  • Provide hearing exams or other medical tests required by OSHA standards.
  • Post OSHA citations, injury and illness data, and the OSHA poster in the workplace where workers will see them.
  • Notify OSHA within 8 hours of a workplace incident in which there is a death or when three or more workers go to a hospital.
  • Not discriminate or retaliate against a worker for using their rights under the law.

Your right to report injuries

As a worker in the United States, you have the right to report work-related injuries and illnesses.

Under OSHA law, your employer must develop a process for workers to report a workplace injury or illness and ensure that you are able to use this process. It is your employer’s responsibility to guarantee that workplace practices do not discourage workers from reporting their injuries or illnesses.

If your employer does discriminate or retaliate against you for trying to report an injury or illness, you have the right to file a retaliation complaint with OSHA. You must file the complaint with OSHA within 30 days of the alleged reprisal.

You Cannot be Punished or Discriminated against for using your OSHA Rights

The OSH Act protects workers who complain to their employer, OSHA or other government agencies about unsafe or unhealthful working conditions in the workplace. You cannot be transferred, denied a raise, have your hours reduced, be fired, or punished in any other way because you used any right given to you under the OSH Act. Help is available from OSHA for whistleblowers.

If you have been punished or discriminated against for using your rights, you must file a complaint with OSHA within 30 days of the alleged reprisal for most complaints. No particular form is required to report the discrimination, but you may send a letter, call the OSHA Area Office nearest you, download and send a completed Notice of Whistleblower Complaint Form (OSHA 8-60.1), or file online using the Online Whistleblower Complaint Form.

What to do if there is a Dangerous Situation at Work

If you believe working conditions are unsafe or unhealthful, we recommend that you bring the conditions to your employer’s attention, if possible.

You may file a complaint with OSHA concerning a hazardous working condition at any time. However, you should not leave the worksite merely because you have filed a complaint. If the condition clearly presents a risk of death or serious physical harm, there is not sufficient time for OSHA to inspect, and, where possible, you have brought the condition to the attention of your employer, you may have a legal right to refuse to work in a situation in which you would be exposed to the hazard.

Additional Information for Workers

Has my employer ever been inspected by OSHA?You can research your employer’s inspection history through OSHA’s Establishment Search. Type in the name of your company and choose the dates you want to cover.

What is the most commonly cited hazard in my industry?You’ll need to know your employer’s Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code. Once you know your four-digit code, visit OSHA’s Frequently Cited OSHA Standards page, enter your SIC code and view the information for last year.

Does OSHA provide technical information on hazards?OSHA provides technical information to assist workers, employers, and safety and health professionals in reducing occupational injuries and illnesses. Find information on bloodborne pathogens, machine guarding, ergonomics or fall protection, for example.

What materials does OSHA have of interest to workers?OSHA publishes a variety of publications on a range of subjects. Some of the most useful publications for workers are listed below. See OSHA Publications for a complete listing of agency printed materials or to order publications online.

Additional Resources

For more information: https://www.osha.gov/workers.html

 

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