Occupational Safety & Health Administration OSHA

What does Occupational Safety & Health Administration OSHA mean?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA is part of the United States Department of Labor and is tasked with assuring healthy and safe working conditions for workers throughout the United States. OSHA accomplishes this task by reducing the numbers of injuries, occupational diseases, and deaths. Their main objectives are to reach all employers and employees with proper education, training, and assistance to create the safest work environment possible.

OSHA was created with the passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. It covers almost all private sector employers. It also covers some public workers in every state, jurisdictions, and territories throughout the United States.

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) promotes workplace safety

OSHA is tasked with helping employers create a work environment which is free from unnecessary safety hazards. They do this through a variety of programs including work site inspections, implementing new safety and health management programs, outlining rights and responsibilities for workers and employers, developing training programs, requiring documentation of injuries, encouraging states to operate their own occupational safety programs, and supporting the OSHA Consultation Program.

Who is covered by OSHA?

Not all workers are covered by OSHA. For instance, those who are not covered under OSHA can include the self-employed, the immediate family members of an employer, federal agency workers who work for an agency that has their own worker safety or health requirements, and employees of state and local governments.

Employers who are covered under OSHA, however, have certain responsibilities to their workers. For instance, employers must adopt the necessary policies and maintain a work environment which is safe for their workers (i.e. free from recognized hazards which are likely to cause death or serious harm), they must be familiar with OSHA standards and comply with them, and they must ensure their workers use the proper protective gear and equipment.

Some employment experts have found it beneficial to think of OSHA standards as encompassing the following areas of employment: Administrative Safety, Exposure Control, Personal Protection, Facility Safety, Tools and Equipment, and Behaviors and Attitudes.

Under administrative safety, for instance, the employer can review their safety program, establish accident investigation procedures, establish an emergency plan, ensure OSHA record keeping, and perform safety audits, as needed. The remaining OSHA standard areas also have other specific tasks which an employer must complete to be OSHA compliant.

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