In a difficult economic climate, most people are grateful to be gainfully employed. However, there are times when employees accept unsafe or unjust workplace conditions simply because they fear losing their jobs if they “rock the boat.” However, recession notwithstanding, employees should be aware that the law protects their right to a safe and hazard-free work environment.
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) protects the right of employees to request a workplace inspection if they feel their jobs pose a threat to their wellbeing. Under OSHA regulations, employers cannot in any way discriminate or retaliate against employees who file such a request.
During an OSHA inspection, workers (or their representative) have a right to talk privately with the inspector before and after the inspection. They may also participate in meetings with their employer and the inspector.
The workplace can be fraught with unseen hazards posed by any number of working conditions and materials. Employers are required by law to be proactive in identifying these potential hazards and to act with the best interest of their employees in mind at all times. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sets forth clear and precise regulations regarding the responsibilities of employers in providing a safe work environment for their employees. It is the employer’s responsibility to find and correct any safety and health problems as well as to eliminate or lessen hazards in the workplace.