What is OSHA?

Key Takeaway:

Introduced in the Richard Nixon regime, the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) is aimed at ensuring worker safety at the workplace. OSHA compliance is mandatory for several types of industries.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was passed in 1970 by the US Congress. This piece of legislation is built on the foundation of worker safety. Its basic premise is that the worker has the right to a safe workplace. It was the purpose of preventing workers from getting seriously hurt at work or being killed that the OSHA was passed.

Features of OSHA

OSHA's core requirement is that employers have to provide danger-free working conditions for their employees.

  • It promulgates and enforces standards that are aimed at protecting workers from workplace hazards.
  • In addition, OSHA also has assistance, training and outreach programs to both employers and workers.
  • Another outstanding feature of OSHA is that it empowers workers to file complaints against their employers inviting OSHA to inspect their workplace if they feel that OSHA standards are not being implementing their workplace or if they feel that there are life-threatening dangers to them.

What rights does OSHA give to workers?

OSHA empowers employees in any of the type of organizations under its purview to enjoy and exercise the following rights:

The kinds of employees OSHA covers

  • Private sector workers in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and other U.S. jurisdictions
  • State and local government workers
  • Federal government workers

The kinds of employees OSHA does not cover

  • Individuals that are self-employed
  • The immediate family members of employers in farms which do not employ employees from outside; and
  • Workplaces in which hazards are governed by federal agencies lying outside OSHA's mandate
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