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What is OSHA?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, is a government agency designed and created to help employers maintain a safe working environment and to protect workers from workplace injuries. The administration was founded in the 1970's at the time of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. Within this act are various rights given to employees working in the United States.

Employees have the right to get training, in layman's terms, of the potential hazards present within their workplace, instruction on how to avoid being harmed by these hazards, and to have tests done to measure potential hazards within the workplace such as air and chemical testing. Workers are also entitled to obtain and review reports on work-related injuries or illnesses which occurred on the jobsite. In addition, workers are allowed to make a confidential complaint with OSHA to have the working environment inspected, and to take part in the inspection with protection from retaliation from the employer.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also aids employers to help them maintain a safe working environment. This includes finding safety and health hazards and minimizing or eliminating them whenever possible, notifying employees of all hazards and providing the necessary training to avoid them, and maintaining a list and records of work related injuries at the jobsites.

It is an employer's responsibility to work with OSHA to create and maintain a safe working environment for all of its employees, and it is an employee's right to have a safe working environment to work within. For workers in the White Plains or Westchester area who believe their employee rights are being violated, they should contact OSHA, or visit with a law firm familiar with employee rights law to learn what steps can be taken and determine whether compensation is available to the worker.

Source: FindLaw, "Workplace Safety: OSHA and OSH Act Overview," Accessed on Nov. 2, 2015

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