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How OSHA Protects You

VIEWS: 7 PAGES: 2

It is essential for anyone going through laboratory training in Colorado Springs to understand their rights to a safe working environment. The government has set up a protection agency to help you know what to expect from your workplace.

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									How OSHA Protects You

It is essential for anyone going through laboratory training in Colorado Springs to understand their rights
to a safe working environment. The government has set up a protection agency to help you know what
to expect from your workplace.

OSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970) protects the rights of laboratory workers to work
in a safe environment. Each professional laboratory is required to adhere to strict guidelines in order to
employ laboratory technicians there.

As an employee of the laboratory, you should understand what safety precautions you are entitled to
inside the workplace. The following is a brief synopsis of the working conditions you should expect from
your employer.

Employee Safety Rights


Generally speaking, “Workers are entitled to working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious
harm,” according to OSHA’s website. More specifically, OSHA requires the following of employers:

Create a workplace that conforms to OSHA standards. They must make sure employees have safe tools
and equipment—note that this also means that they must properly maintain the equipment to ensure
safety.

                                     All potential hazards are required to be labeled by color code, label,
                                     sign or poster. Operating procedures must be established,
                                     communicated, and updated according to the safety and health
                                     regulations OSHA provides.

                                     All instructions must be given in a language employees can
                                     understand. If there are any hazardous chemicals being used the
                                     employer must create a written hazard statement explaining the
                                     situation and then he or she must train his or her employees on the
                                     matter.

                                    Medical examinations and training are required according to
timelines outlines in OSHA’s standards. The OSHA poster stating an employee’s rights and
responsibilities must be placed somewhere prominent in the laboratory for employees to review.
The rights and responsibilities of employees are as follows: employees reserve the right to ask OSHA for
an official inspection without fear of retaliation or discrimination. They can also receive information or
training about hazards.

That training must be presented in language they understand. They can also obtain copies of test results
of investigations of hazards in the workplace.

If they want to see the safety history they can ask to review records of work-related injuries and
illnesses caused by the laboratory. The employer is required to provide that.

                                                 Continuing with the employer’s responsibilities,
                                                 employers are required to keep records of all work-
                                                 related injuries and illnesses (so an employee can
                                                 request them at will). If there should be an accident
                                                 that is either fatal or results in the hospitalization of 3
                                                 or more employees, OSHA must be notified within 8
                                                 hours of the incident at 1-800-321-OSHA.

                                                 Employers must also provide access to employee
                                                 medical and exposure records to employees or their
                                                 authorized representatives. As stated before they may
                                                 not discriminate against employees that exercise their
                                                 OSHA rights.

Cited violations from an inspection must be posted at or near the offending work area until the violation
is corrected or three working days have passed, whichever is longer. In addition, corrections must be
made by the deadline given by OSHA representatives.

For those in laboratory training in Colorado Springs, make sure you understand the rights given to you
by OSHA. Expect that they will be followed and pursue corrective action when they’re not.



Photo Credit: http://www.lawyersandsettlements.com, http://www.worldlawdirect.com

								
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