If you’re an employer in the United States, it is important that you orient yourself with the Occupational Safety and Health Hazard Administration (OSHA). It is the holy grail for any business owner in the United States. OSHA is a federal government agency. Its aim is to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for employees by mandating implementation of certain safety standards as well as provide timely and updated information on workplace safety. For example, if an employee suffers an injury at work such as an accident at a construction site, their construction accident attorney will first ask for OSHA-related documentation from the employer to ensure that standards are met.
Here are a few important aspects of OSHA that every employer should know.
What does OSHA do?
To put it simply, OSHA provides safety standards for various industries and sectors such as hospitality, construction sites, manufacturing units, etc. The end objective is to avoid any workplace injury to occur. OSHA also provides training to employers to ensure effective implementation of safety standards. OSHA also undertakes inspections of workplaces. If you’re an employer and found in violation on any OSHA code, you’re liable to pay a fine for violating workers’ rights.
To whom does OSHA apply?
OSHA protects most private-sector employers and employees. In fact, it also serves federal employees. However, while OSHA can penalize private-sector organizations in case of a violation, it cannot fine a federal agency. Moreover, people who work in local government bodies or in industries administered by specific federal agencies such as mining do not fall under the purview of OSHA.
How is OSHA implemented?
At the federal level, OSHA is small agency and with state-level partners it has a little more than 1800 inspectors. Latest data estimates suggest that OSHA currently covers 130 million workers across the country. As is evident, the OSHA inspector to worker ratio is about one inspector for every 70,000 workers. OSHA has a preset budget at the beginning of every financial year. In 2021, its budget is approximated at $591,787,000. In terms of inspections conducted, last available data of 2019 suggests that OSHA inspectors undertook nearly 34000 inspections.
What are the common violations observed by OSHA inspectors?
In 2019, Federal OSHA released a report which highlighted the top ten violations observed during inspections. They’re as follows:
- Fall protection, construction
- Hazard communication standard, general industry
- Scaffolding, general requirements, construction
- Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry
- Respiratory protection, general industry
- Ladders, construction
- Powered industrial trucks, general industry
- Fall Protection–Training Requirements
- Machinery and Machine Guarding, general requirements
- Eye and Face Protection
If you’re an employer, the onus of your workers’ safety lies on you. It is your responsibility to make sure that you provide them with a healthy and safe working space. In fact, ensuring that your workers are given adequate care and proper provisions will be beneficial for you in the long run. In fact, to make sure that your OSHA standards are up to the mark, you can hire a lawyer as per your business, for example a construction accident attorney or a personal injury attorney to help you validate that the worksite meets the OSHA criteria effectively. This is an important step because if there’s a mishappening at the work site and a worker in injured, their injury attorney will first check for OSHA violations.
What to do if you’re injured at a work site?
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury at a work site due to employer negligence and you need the best injury attorney, contact Siler & Ingber today. Call us on 1-877-529-4343 or complete our online form on this page to schedule a case evaluation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys. Our consultation is free and we do not charge a fee unless we win your case.