That’s what we are going to cover in today’s blog. All the OSHA basics you need to know!
What Does OSHA Stand For?
OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It was created through the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 by the United States Congress and is part of the US Department of Labor.
What is OSHA’s Purpose?
Congress created OSHA because of their concern for the high number of injuries, disabilities, and deaths among American workers. By developing protective workplace safety and health standards, Congress felt safer workplaces would help both workers and businesses by cutting down on lost production, missed wages, medical expenses, and disability payments among other reasons.
Why is OSHA Important?
When created in 1970, The Occupational Safety and Health Act:
“…gives workers the right to safe and healthful working conditions. It is the duty of employers to provide workplaces that are free of known dangers that could harm their employees. This law also gives workers important rights to participate in activities to ensure their protection from job hazards.”
This means private sector workers have a right to a safe and healthy workplace, and OSHA is charged with overseeing all of that. Each industry has its own set of OSHA standards. For instance, the OSHA standards for construction work may be entirely different from the OSHA standards found in a hospital.
Who Does OSHA Cover?
OSHA does not cover some businesses. These include the self-employed, immediate family members of farm employers, and where another federal agency regulates workplace hazards. OSHA does not apply to state and local government workers, but many states have OSHA protections in place.
OSHA Training Responsibilities
Realizing that workplace safety is the responsibility of both the employer and the employee, one of the most important parts of the Act says that workers must get training and information about both workplace hazards and safety and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace. This helps employees maintain a safe workplace and also educates them about what is not safe and needs correcting.
What is a DOL Card?
Some industries, such as construction, may require you to show an “DOL card” before they will hire you. The OSHA card certifies that you have taken and successfully passed a test about safety in your workplace. This certification assures both the employer and the other workers that you understand the need for workplace safety and know the safe practices for your line of work.
Learn More About Your Rights
Somewhere at your job site, you may have seen the official OSHA poster hanging in a prominent place. If you take a moment to read it, you can learn more about your rights and responsibilities for a safe workplace under the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
Also, don’t forget to complete your OSHA training. At OSHAcampus, we offer courses that cover 10-Hour and 30-Hour training requirements with a DOL card.