Employers and OSHA

Here we will talk about Employers and their responsibilities and rights within the parameters of OSHA.

Compliance is a complex topic for workplace safety and health and the gray area can be costly.

The first step is to determine and understand the organization’s legal and regulatory safety requirements.

In the United States, nearly every employee in the nation comes under the jurisdiction of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA is responsible for administering and enforcing workplace health and safety standards including the General Duty Clause stating job sites must be “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”

Under federal law, employers must assess and address all hazards, provide PPE at no cost to employees, and comply with all applicable standards. Additionally, OSHA provides workers with whistleblower protection and the right to receive training, observe testing, and request an OSHA inspection.

OSHA and government standards are mandatory by law, but that’s not the case with all industry standards. Organizations like the American National Standards Institute and the National Fire Protection Agency are responsible for developing and publishing a wide range of technical standards. While NFPA codes address fire and electrical hazards, ANSI has a much broader scope publishing standards on subjects from vehicle electronics to hard hats. Although voluntary, a number have become mandatory when cited by an OSHA standard.

Additional Resources