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OSHA and Employee Workplace Rights

Your employer is not allowed to discriminate or retaliate against you for filing a claim with OSHA. This includes decreasing your pay, transferring your job, denying you a raise, and other actions. If you feel you have been discriminated against, you have a limited amount of time to pursue protection. An experienced lawyer can explain your rights and options.

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Construction Workers' Rights Under OSHA

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within the Department of Labor with the mission to reduce workplace hazards and create a system of health and safety regulations and programs. Under OSHA regulations, employees are granted certain rights and employers are required to ensure those rights are not violated.

If you believe your rights guaranteed under OSHA were violated while working on a construction site, contact Ellis Law, P.C. in FISHKILL, NY, today to schedule a consultation with a lawyer experienced in construction accident and injury litigation.

Employee rights under OSHA

Under OSHA, employees are granted certain rights, including:

  • The right to obtain training from their employer on any chemicals or other hazardous materials they may be exposed to or working with, such as blood-borne pathogens
  • The right to information about OSHA standards, job hazards, worker injuries and workers' rights from their employer
  • The right to request that a dangerous condition or OSHA violation is corrected by their employer
  • The right to file a complaint to OSHA of a violation or serious hazard in the workplace and to have their name withheld from their employer
  • The right to be involved in any OSHA inspection and, if necessary, appeal the final action
  • The right to file a complaint to OSHA without possibility of retaliation or other discriminatory acts by their employer

Employees also have certain obligations under OSHA, including complying with OSHA and employer safety standards, using all necessary protective equipment (like ear plugs, safety goggles) and reporting any on-the-job injuries or illnesses to their employer immediately.

Employer obligations under OSHA

Among the obligations imposed under OSHA, employers have a duty to:

  • Provide employees a reasonably safe work environment free from recognized hazards
  • Comply with OSHA standards and ensure the work environment conforms with those standards
  • Provide employees with the appropriate safety equipment and training and maintain the safety of the equipment
  • Post the OSHA poster that lists employees' rights and obligations in a prominent location
  • Keep records of all work-related injuries and illnesses and provide access to this information to employees, former employees and their authorized representatives
  • Do not retaliate or discriminate against employees who file a claim with OSHA or otherwise exercise their rights under OSHA

OSHA inspections

If an employee believes that his or her workplace is hazardous or is otherwise dangerous, the employee can submit a written complaint to the nearest OSHA office. OSHA then will make a determination of whether there are reasonable grounds for believing a violation or other danger exists and whether a workplace inspection is necessary. If it is determined that one is necessary, an inspector will visit the worksite and inspect the premises for unsafe working conditions. During this inspection, a representative of the employer and a representative of the employee may accompany the OSHA inspector during the walk-around. The employer is not allowed to choose the employee's representative. The inspector also may collect evidence during the inspection, including taking photographs and samples, and interviewing employees and employers. The inspection by the OSHA representative is not limited by the conditions listed in the complaint and he or she may review the entire premises. There are few limitations on the inspection itself, but it may not disrupt the employer's operations, must be during regular business hours and must be reasonable in nature.

Contact a construction accident lawyer

If you suspect that your employer is in violation of OSHA requirements, or if you have been injured as a result of an OSHA violation, an attorney can explain your rights to you. Contact Ellis Law, P.C. in FISHKILL, NY, today to schedule a consultation with an attorney experienced in handling construction site injury and OSHA violation cases.

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