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.