The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) is a federal law administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The Act is meant to keep employees safe at work.
The OSH Act lets OSHA create and enforce safety and health standards for businesses. The primary goal of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is to carry out the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), which Congress originally passed in 1970. The OSH Act has undergone several amendments and revisions since its inception, but it is still in place “to assure so far as possible every working man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions to preserve our human resources.”
OSHA contributes to job safety and health by enacting regulations that forward this ideal. Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CF), Parts 1902 – 1990, houses all the OSHA standards, though OSHA also states to enact occupational safety and health laws of their own under federally-approved plans. State-run programs are at least as strict, and sometimes more so than federal standards. This ensures a minimum standard of job safety and health that all employers must follow to protect employees.
What are your rights as an employer?
When working with OSHA, you may do the following:
Request identification from OSHA compliance officers
Request an inspection warrant
Receive a reason for inspection from compliance officers
Accompany compliance officers on inspections
Request an informal conference after an inspection
File a notice of contest to citations or proposed penalties
Apply for a variance from a standard’s requirements under certain circumstances
Be assured of the confidentiality of trade secrets
Submit a written request to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for information on potentially toxic substances in your workplace
OSHA plays a key role in making your facility a safe, healthy place to work. Beyond providing the tools and guidance to work toward an injury- and illness-free workplace, OSHA is important in identifying businesses that are not committed to safety. Employers that do not carefully follow OSHA regulations often face hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in fines.