Compliance in the workplace can literally be a matter of life or death. Many workers mistakenly assume their employer is the only who has the power to ensure a safe work environment, but that isn’t the case.
You have the right to work in a safe space free of serious known hazards. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has compiled a list of ways you can take control of your safety at work. Read on to learn your rights under the OSH Act of 1970.
11 Ways Employees Can Ensure Compliance in the Workplace
- Get training from your employer. If it’s not offered up, request training on chemicals you’re exposed to as part of the job and how to protect yourself.
- Request information from your employer. Learn as much as possible by asking for materials on OSHA standards, worker injuries and illnesses, job hazards, and workers’ rights.
- Request action from your employer. If you spot a workplace hazard, do know you can ask your employer to correct it, even if it doesn’t violate a specific OSHA standard.
- File a complaint with OSHA. Take action if you believe your employer is violating OSHA standards or other serious workplace hazards.
- Be involved in OSHA inspections. When an OSHA compliance officer visits your worksite, have an authorized employee accompany them during the inspection. If you’d like, you and your co-workers also have the right to speak privately with the OSHA compliance officer.
- Get the results of OSHA inspections. No matter how the investigation goes, OSHA will share the results with your employee representative, so don’t be afraid to ask.
- Be in the know. If your employer has any objections to OSHA’s citations or changes in abatement deadlines, be present at any meetings or hearings.
- File a formal appeal. Take action by filing an appeal of deadlines for correction of hazards that OSHA hands down to your employer if you feel the timeline is too long.
- File a discrimination complaint. If your employer punishes you for speaking out or refusing to work in unsafe conditions, file an OSHA complaint within 30 days.
- Request a research investigation on possible hazards. If you’re concerned about the toxic effects of a substance in the workplace, contact the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and request a health hazard evaluation.
- Provide comments and testimony to OSHA. Speak up during rulemaking on new OSHA standards by offering your input.
Compliance in the workplace must be a top priority to the entire team. The MAC Incorporated blog is your resource for all things OSHA. Bookmark this page and check back often, then contact us when you’re ready to find an engineering, maintenance, or operations management opportunity with a company that shares your commitment to safety.