What is OSHA?
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency established in 1970 and is part of the United State Department of Labor. It is established by the congress because of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. OSHA is established to ensure working men and women would have a safe and healthful working environment. This is achieved by setting up and enforcing regulations by career training, outreach, education and assistance. OSHA covers most private sectors’ workers and some public sectors employers and employees across 50 states in the nation.
Jobs are approved by individual states’ plan and states. OSHA is responsible for monitoring and ensuring such plan is implemented. The federal OSHA, on the other hand, is responsible for approving state-level OSHA and provide 50% of funding to OSHA. To support and ensure employers and employees work under an OSHA-approved condition, OSHA has a training institute to provide trainings for government and private sectors employers and employees.
The OSHA Law
Under OSHA law, employers are responsible to provide a safe and healthy environment for employees, and minimize hazard that might cause injury or death to employees. There are well-established standards to guide employers to achieve such environment. The idea of OSHA is not only encouraging the use of protective equipment, including safety goggles, gloves or earplugs but to proactively removing any potential hazards from the working environment. Not only that, protective equipment are, by law, required to be provided by the employers to the employees. Employers are obligated to train the employees in language they understand so that would fully understand the workflow in the environment and prevent unnecessary incidents from happening. OSHA also requires employers to ensure all records are well-kept, especially for incidents happened within 8 hours (fatality incident) or 24 hours (inpatient incident) related to works. Employers must not discriminate any workers who are executing their rights protected by law.
OSHA aims to strive for a safe and healthy working environment for workers, and therefore the act is established to protect the rights of the workers from these working hazard. Workers have the rights to file confidential reports regarding to their working environment, being educated and trained to work safely in the conditions. They are also protected in the case of an unfortunate accident. It should be noted that, OSHA does not only protect permanent workers, but also entitled to temporary workers.
With development of the Act, OSHA is focused not only in traditional working environment that would have presence of obvious hazards, but also emphasizing the importance of ergonomics policies in office. OSHA is important in term of protecting both employers and employees in working environment, and prevent any unfortunate incident or minimize the harm if such incident happens. With the administration from OSHA, the protection of personnel would be better protected than before.