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Occupational Safety and Health Administration

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Not to be confused with EU-OSHA, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. For other
uses, see OSHA (disambiguation).

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Agency overview

Formed 1971

Jurisdiction Federal government of the United States

Headquarters Washington, D.C.

Employees 2,265 (2015)[1]

Annual budget $552 million (2015)[1]

Agency executive
David Michaels, Assistant Secretary

Parent department United States Department of Labor

Website www.osha.gov

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the United States
Department of Labor. Congress established the agency under the Occupational Safety and Health
Act, which President Richard M. Nixon signed into law on December 29, 1970. OSHA's mission is to
"assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing
standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance". [2] The agency is also
charged with enforcing a variety of whistleblower statutes and regulations. OSHA is currently headed
by Assistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels. OSHA's workplace safety inspections have been
shown to reduce injury rates and injury costs without adverse effects to employment, sales, credit
ratings, or firm survival.[3]

Contents
[hide]
1History

2OSHA coverage

o 2.1Private sector employers

o 2.2State and local governments

o 2.3Federal government agencies

o 2.4Not covered under the OSHA Act

3Rights and responsibilities under OSHA law

4Health and safety standards

5Enforcement

6Recordkeeping requirements

7Whistleblower protection

8Compliance assistance

9Effects

10Controversy

11See also

12References

13External links

History[edit]
OSHA officially formed on April 28, 1971, the date that the OSH Act became effective. [4] George
Guenther was appointed as the agency's first director.
OSHA has a number of training, compliance assistance, and health and safety recognition programs
throughout its history. The OSHA Training Institute, which trains government and private sector
health and safety personnel, began in 1972.[4] In 1978, the agency began a grantmaking program,
now called the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, to train workers and employers in reducing
workplace hazards.[4] OSHA started the Voluntary Protection Programs in 1982, which allow
employers to apply as "model workplaces" to achieve special designation if they meet certain
requirements.[4]

OSHA coverage[edit]
The OSHA Act covers most private sector employers and their workers, in addition to some public
sector employers and workers in the 50 states and certain territories and jurisdictions under federal
authority. Those jurisdictions include the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin
Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Wake Island, Johnston Island, and
the Outer Continental Shelf Lands as defined in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
Private sector employers[edit]
OSHA covers most private sector employers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and other U.S.
jurisdictionseither directly through federal OSHA or through an OSHA approved state plan.
State plans are OSHA-approved job safety and health programs operated by individual states
instead of federal OSHA. Federal OSHA approves and monitors all state plans and provides as
much as fifty percent of the funding for each program. State-run safety and health programs are
required to be at least as effective as the federal OSHA program.
The following 22 states or territories have OSHA-approved state
programs: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnes
ota, Nevada,New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Puerto Rico, South
Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.[5]
Federal OSHA provides coverage to certain workplaces specifically excluded from a states plan
for example, work in maritime industries or on military bases.
State and local governments[edit]
Workers at state and local government agencies are not covered by federal OSHA, but have OSH
Act protections if they work in those states that have an OSHA-approved state program. OSHA rules
also permit states and territories to develop plans that cover only public sector (state and local
government) workers. In these cases, private sector workers and employers remain under federal
OSHA jurisdiction. Five additional states and one U.S. territory have OSHA approved state plans that
cover public sector workers only:Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New York, and the Virgin
Islands.
Federal government agencies[edit]
OSHAs protection applies to all federal agencies. Section 19 of the OSH Act makes federal agency
heads responsible for providing safe and healthful working conditions for their workers. OSHA
conducts inspections of federal facilities in response to workers reports of hazards and under
programs that target high hazard federal workplaces.[6]
Federal agencies must have a safety and health program that meets the same standards as private
employers. OSHA issues virtual fines to federal agencies following an inspection where violations
are found, OSHA issues a press release stating the size the fine would be if the federal agency were
a private sector employer. Under a 1998 amendment, the OSHA Act covers the U.S. Postal
Service the same as any private sector employer.
Not covered under the OSHA Act [edit]
The self-employed; immediate family members of farm employers; and workplace hazards regulated
by another federal agency (for example, the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Department
of Energy, or Coast Guard).[7]

Rights and responsibilities under OSHA law[edit]


Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe workplace. [8]
By law, employers must provide their workers with a workplace that does not have serious hazards
and must follow all OSHA safety and health standards. Employers must find and correct safety and
health problems. OSHA further requires that employers must first try to eliminate or reduce hazards
by making feasible changes in working conditions rather than relying on personal protective
equipment such as masks, gloves, or earplugs. Switching to safer chemicals, enclosing processes to
trap harmful fumes, or using ventilation systems to clean the air are examples of effective ways to
eliminate or reduce risks.
Employers must also:

Inform workers about chemical hazards through training, labels,


alarms, color-coded systems, chemical information sheets and
other methods.

Provide safety training to workers in a language and vocabulary


they can understand.[9]

Keep accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses.

Perform tests in the workplace, such as air sampling, required by


some OSHA standards.

Provide required personal protective equipment at no cost to


workers. (Employers must pay for most types of required personal
protective equipment.)[10][11]

Provide hearing exams or other medical tests when required by


OSHA standards.

Post OSHA citations and annually post injury and illness summary
data where workers can see them.[12][13]

Notify OSHA within eight hours of a workplace fatality. Notify OSHA


within 24 hours of all work-related inpatient hospitalizations, all
amputations, and all losses of an eye (1-800-321-OSHA [6742]).

Prominently display the official OSHA Job Safety and Health Its
the Law poster[14] that describes rights and responsibilities under the
OSH Act.

Not retaliate or discriminate against workers[15] for using their rights


under the law, including their right to report a work-related injury or
illness.
Workers have the right to:[16]

Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.

File a confidential complaint with OSHA to have their workplace


inspected.[17]
Receive information and training about hazards, methods to prevent
harm, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace. The
training must be done in a language and vocabulary workers can
understand.

Receive copies of records of work-related injuries and illnesses that


occur in their workplace.

Receive copies of the results from tests and monitoring done to find
and measure hazards in their workplace.

Receive copies of their workplace medical records.

Participate in an OSHA inspection and speak in private with the


inspector.

File a complaint with OSHA if they have been retaliated or


discriminated against by their employer as the result of requesting
an inspection or using any of their other rights under the OSH Act.

File a complaint if punished or retaliated against for acting as a


whistleblower under the 21 additional federal laws for which OSHA
has jurisdiction.[15]
Temporary workers must be treated like permanent employees. Staffing agencies and host
employers share a joint accountability over temporary workers. Both entities are therefore bound to
comply with workplace health and safety requirements and to ensure worker safety and health.
OSHA could hold both the host and temporary employers responsible for the violation of any
condition.[18]

Health and safety standards[edit]


The Occupational Safety and Health Act grants OSHA the authority to issue workplace health and
safety regulations. These regulations include limits on hazardous chemical exposure, employee
access to hazard information, requirements for the use of personal protective equipment, and
requirements to prevent falls and hazards from operating dangerous equipment.
OSHAs current Construction, General Industry, Maritime and Agriculture standards [19] are designed
to protect workers from a wide range of serious hazards. Examples of OSHA standards include
requirements for employers to: provide fall protection such as a safety harness/line or guardrails;
prevent trenching cave-ins; prevent exposure to some infectious diseases; ensure the safety of
workers who enter confined spaces; prevent exposure to harmful chemicals; put guards on
dangerous machines; provide respirators or other safety equipment; and provide training for certain
dangerous jobs in a language and vocabulary workers can understand.
OSHA sets enforceable permissible exposure limits (PELs) to protect workers against the health
effects of exposure to hazardous substances, including limits on the airborne concentrations of
hazardous chemicals in the air.[20] Most of OSHAs PELs were issued shortly after adoption of the
OSH Act in 1970. Attempts to issue more stringent PELs have been blocked by litigation from
industry; thus, the limits have not been updated since 1971. The agency has issued non-binding,
alternate occupational exposure limits that may better protect workers. [21][22]
Employers must also comply with the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act. This clause requires
employers to keep their workplaces free of serious recognized hazards and is generally cited when
no specific OSHA standard applies to the hazard.
In its first year of operation, OSHA was permitted to adopt regulations based on guidelines set by
certain standards organizations, such as the American Conference of Governmental Industrial
Hygienists, without going through all of the requirements of a typical rulemaking. OSHA is granted
the authority to promulgate standards that prescribe the methods employers are legally required to
follow to protect their workers from hazards. Before OSHA can issue a standard, it must go through
a very extensive and lengthy process that includes substantial public engagement, notice and
comment. The agency must show that a significant risk to workers exists and that there are feasible
measures employers can take to protect their workers.
In 2000, OSHA issued an ergonomics standard. In March 2001, Congress voted to repeal the
standard through the Congressional Review Act. The repeal, one of the first major pieces of
legislation signed by President George W. Bush, is the only instance that Congress has successfully
used the Congressional Review Act to block a regulation.
Since 2001, OSHA has issued the following standards:

2002: Exit Routes, Emergency Action Plans, and Fire Prevention


Plans

2004: Commercial Diving Operations

2004: Fire Protection in Shipyards

2006: Occupational Exposure to Hexavalent Chromium

2006: Assigned Protection Factors for Respiratory Protection


Equipment

2007: Electrical Installation Standard

2007: Personal Protective Equipment Payment (Clarification)

2008: Vertical Tandem Lifts

2010: Cranes and Derricks in Construction

2010: General Working Conditions in Shipyards

2012: GHS Update to the Hazard Communication Standard

2014: New Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements for


Employers

2014: Revision to Electric Power Generation, Transmission, and


Distribution; Electrical Protective Equipment

2016: Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica


2016: Improve Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Enforcement[edit]
OSHA is responsible for enforcing its standards on regulated entities. Compliance Safety and Health
Officers carry out inspections and assess fines for regulatory violations. Inspections are planned for
worksites in particularly hazardous industries. Inspections can also be triggered by a workplace
fatality, multiple hospitalizations, worker complaints, or referrals.
OSHA is a small agency, given the size of its mission: with its state partners, OSHA has
approximately 2,400 inspectors covering more than 8 million workplaces where 130 million workers
are employed. In Fiscal Year 2012 (ending Sept. 30), OSHA and its state partners conducted more
than 83,000 inspections of workplaces across the United States just a fraction of the nations
worksites.[23] According to a report by AFLCIO, it would take OSHA 129 years to inspect all
workplaces under its jurisdiction.[24]
Enforcement plays an important part in OSHAs efforts to reduce workplace injuries, illnesses, and
fatalities. Inspections are initiated without advance notice, conducted using on-site or telephone and
facsimile investigations, performed by trained compliance officers and scheduled based on the
following priorities [highest to lowest]: imminent danger; catastrophes fatalities or hospitalizations;
worker complaints and referrals; targeted inspections particular hazards, high injury rates; and
follow-up inspections.
Current workers or their representatives may file a complaint and ask OSHA to inspect their
workplace if they believe that there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA
standards. Workers and their representatives have the right to ask for an inspection without OSHA
telling their employer who filed the complaint. It is a violation of the OSH Act for an employer to fire,
demote, transfer or in any way discriminate against a worker for filing a complaint or using other
OSHA rights.
When an inspector finds violations of OSHA standards or serious hazards, OSHA may issue
citations and fines. A citation includes methods an employer may use to fix a problem and the date
by which the corrective actions must be completed.
OSHAs fines are very low compared with other government agencies. They were raised for the first
time since 1990 on Aug. 2, 2016 to comply with the 2015 Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment
Act Improvements Act passed by Congress to advance the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties
and to maintain their deterrent effect. The new law directs agencies to adjust their penalties for
inflation each year. The maximum OSHA fine for a serious violation is $12,500 and the maximum
fine for a repeat or willful violation is $125,000.[25] In determining the amount of the proposed penalty,
OSHA must take into account the gravity of the alleged violation and the employers size of the
business, good faith and history of previous violations. Employers have the right to contest any part
of the citation, including whether a violation actually exists.[26] Workers only have the right to
challenge the deadline by which a problem must be resolved. Appeals of citations are heard by the
independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHRC).
OSHA carries out its enforcement activities through its 10 regional offices and 90 area offices.
[23]
OSHAs regional offices are located in Boston, New York
City, Philadelphia,Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City metropolitan area, Denver, San Francisco,
and Seattle.

Recordkeeping requirements[edit]
Tracking and investigating workplace injuries and illnesses play an important role in preventing
future injuries and illnesses. Under OSHAs Recordkeeping regulation, certain covered employers in
high hazard industries are required to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries
and illnesses. This information is important for employers, workers and OSHA in evaluating the
safety of a workplace, understanding industry hazards, and implementing worker protections to
reduce and eliminate hazards.
Employers with more than ten employees and whose establishments are not classified as a partially
exempt industry must record serious work-related injuries and illnesses using OSHA Forms 300,
300A and 301. Recordkeeping forms, requirements and exemption information are at OSHAs
website.[27]

Whistleblower protection[edit]
OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and 21 other
statutes protecting workers who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier,
consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, health care reform, nuclear, pipeline,
public transportation agency, maritime and securities laws. [15] Over the years, OSHA has been
responsible for enforcing these laws that protect the rights of workers to speak up without fear of
retaliation, regardless of the relationship of these laws to occupational safety and health matters. [15]

Compliance assistance[edit]
OSHA has developed several training, compliance assistance, and health and safety recognition
programs throughout its history.
The OSHA Training Institute, which trains government and private sector health and safety
personnel, began in 1972.[28] In 1978, the agency began a grant making program, now called the
Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, to train workers and employers in identifying and reducing
workplace hazards.[28]
The Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) recognize employers and workers in private industry and
federal agencies who have implemented effective safety and health management programs and
maintain injury and illness rates below the national average for their respective industries. In VPP,
management, labor, and OSHA work cooperatively and proactively to prevent fatalities, injuries, and
illnesses through a system focused on: hazard prevention and control, worksite analysis, training,
and management commitment and worker involvement.[28]
OSHAs On-site Consultation Program[29] offers free and confidential advice to small and medium-
sized businesses in all states across the country, with priority given to high-hazard worksites. Each
year, responding to requests from small employers looking to create or improve their safety and
health management programs, OSHAs On-site Consultation Program conducts over 29,000 visits to
small business worksites covering over 1.5 million workers across the nation. On-site consultation
services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Consultants from
state agencies or universities work with employers to identify workplace hazards, provide advice on
compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing safety and health management
programs.[29]
Under the consultation program, certain exemplary employers may request participation in
OSHAs Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). Eligibility for
participation includes, but is not limited to, receiving a full-service, comprehensive consultation visit,
correcting all identified hazards and developing an effective safety and health management program.
Worksites that receive SHARP recognition are exempt from programmed inspections during the
period that the SHARP certification is valid.[30]
OSHA also provides compliance assistance through its national and area offices. Through hundreds
of publications in a variety of languages, website safety and health topics pages, and through
compliance assistance staff OSHA provides information to employers and workers on specific
hazards and OSHA rights and responsibilities.[31]
Effects[edit]
A 2012 study in Science found that OSHA's random workplace safety inspections caused a "9.4%
decline in injury rates" and a "26% reduction in injury cost" for the inspected firms. [3] The study found
"no evidence that these improvements came at the expense of employment, sales, credit ratings, or
firm survival."[3]

Controversy[edit]
Much of the debate about OSHA regulations and enforcement policies revolves around the cost of
regulations and enforcement, versus the actual benefit in reduced worker injury, illness and death. A
1995 study of several OSHA standards by the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) found that
OSHA relies "generally on methods that provide a credible basis for the determinations essential to
rulemakings". Though it found that OSHA's finding and estimates are "subject to vigorous review and
challenge", it stated that this is natural because "interested parties and experts involved in
rulemakings have differing visions".[32]
OSHA has come under considerable criticism for the ineffectiveness of its penalties, particularly its
criminal penalties. The maximum penalty is a misdemeanor with a maximum of 6-months in jail.
[33]
See TfD[dubious discuss] In response to the criticism, OSHA, in conjunction with the Department of
Justice, has pursued several high-profile criminal prosecutions for violations under the Act, and has
announced a joint enforcement initiative between OSHA and the United States Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) which has the ability to issue much higher fines than OSHA. Meanwhile,
Congressional Democrats, labor unions and community safety and health advocates are attempting
to revise the OSH Act to make it a felony with much higher penalties to commit a willful violation that
results in the death of a worker. Some local prosecutors are charging company executives
withmanslaughter and other felonies when criminal negligence leads to the death of a worker.[34]
During its more than 40 years of existence, OSHA has secured only 12 criminal convictions. [when?][35]
OSHA has also been criticized for taking too long to develop new regulations. For instance, speaking
about OSHA under the George W. Bush presidency on the specific issue of combustible dust
explosions, Chemical Safety Board appointee Carolyn Merritt said: "The basic disappointment has
been this attitude of no new regulation. They don't want industry to be pestered. In some instances,
industry has to be pestered in order to comply."[36]

See also[edit]

Government of the United States portal

Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations

American Society of Safety Engineers

Construction site safety

Ergonomics

Voluntary Protection Programs Participants' Association

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)


MIOSHA

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

Occupational safety and health

Occupational fatality

Oregon OSHA

Regulatory Flexibility Act

U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board

References[edit]
1. ^ Jump up to:a b "FY 2015 Department of Labor Budget in Brief" (PDF).

2. Jump up^ "About OSHA".

3. ^ Jump up to:a b c Levine, David I.; Toffel, Michael W.; Johnson,


Matthew S. (2012-05-18)."Randomized Government Safety
Inspections Reduce Worker Injuries with No Detectable Job
Loss". Science. 336 (6083): 907
911. doi:10.1126/science.1215191. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 22605775.

4. ^ Jump up to:a b c d "OSHA History" (PDF). Department of Labor.

5. Jump up^ "What is an OSHA State Program".

6. Jump up^ "Section 19 of the OSHA Act of 1970: Federal Agency


Safety Programs and Responsibilities". Department of Labor.

7. Jump up^ "Who OSHA Covers".

8. Jump up^ "Employer Responsibilities".

9. Jump up^ "OSHA Training Standards Policy Statement".

10. Jump up^ "Personal Protective Equipment Booklet".

11. Jump up^ "Personal Protective Equipment fact sheet" (PDF).

12. Jump up^ "OSHA Inspections" (PDF).

13. Jump up^ "OSHA Injury and Illness Recordkeeping and Reporting
Requirements".

14. Jump up^ "Job Safety and Health: It's the Law Poster" (PDF).
15. ^ Jump up to:a b c d "The Whistleblower Protection Program".

16. Jump up^ "Worker's Rights".

17. Jump up^ "How to File a Confidential Complaint with OSHA".

18. Jump up^ "Temporary Workers".

19. Jump up^ "OSHA Law and Regulations".

20. Jump up^ Maxwell, Nancy Irwin (2014). Understanding


Environmental Health. Burlington: Jones & Bartlett. p. 226.

21. Jump up^ Hill Jr., Robert H.; Finster, David C. (2016). Laboratory
Safety for Chemistry Students. John Wiley & Sons. p. 103.

22. Jump up^ "Permissible Exposure Limits Annotated Tables".

23. ^ Jump up to:a b "Commonly Used Statistics".

24. Jump up^ "Death on the Job: the Toll of Neglect. 20th Edition,
2011" (PDF). AFL-CIO.

25. Jump up^ Berzon, Alexandra (3 November 2015), "OSHA Fines to


Rise for First Time Since 1990", The Wall Street Journal, retrieved 3
September 2016

26. Jump up^ "Employer's Rights and Responsibilities Following and


OSHA Inspection". Department of Labor.

27. Jump up^ "OSHA Injury and Illnesses and Recordkeeping and
Reporting Requirements".

28. ^ Jump up
to:a b c https://www.osha.gov/history/OSHA_HISTORY_3360s.pdf

29. ^ Jump up to:a b "On-site Consultation Program".

30. Jump up^ "Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program".

31. Jump up^ "Compliance Assistance Quick Start". www.osha.gov.


Retrieved 2016-08-19.

32. Jump up^ "Gauging Control Technology and Regulatory Impacts in


Occupational Safety and Health: An Appraisal of OSHA's Analytic
Approach" (PDF). US Government, Office of Technology Assessment.
US Government Printing Office. September 1995.

33. Jump up^ "OSHA Administrative Penalty Information Bulletin".

34. Jump up^ "The Possible Legal Consequences of Circumventing


Occupational Safety".
35. Jump up^ Nash, James (February 25, 2004). "Justice Dept. Drops
Most Criminal OSHA Referrals". EHS Today. Retrieved October
7, 2016.

36. Jump up^ Pelley, Scott (2008-06-08). "Is Enough Done To Stop
Explosive Dust?". 60 Minutes. CBSnews.com. Retrieved 2008-06-09.

Department of Labor Budget in Brief, FY2013

External links[edit]
Official website

OSHA in the Federal Register

OSHA - Current 29 CFR Books in Digital Format

OSHA - List of Highly Hazardous Chemicals

Occupational Safety and Health Act text

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

The short film "The Story of OSHA (1980)" is available for free
download at the Internet Archive

[show]

Agencies under the United States Department of Labor

[show]

Occupational safety and health


Categories:
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
United States Department of Labor agencies
1970 establishments in the United States
Safety codes
Government agencies established in 1970
December 10, 2007
Just What Is OSHA and How Does it Work?

OSHA's mission is to send every worker home whole and healthy every day. OSHA is a federal
agency with 2,150 employees, including 1,100 inspectors, and an annual budget of nearly $500
million. Almost every working person in the nation, with a few exceptions, comes under OSHA's
jurisdiction. To protect all these workers, OSHA creates and enforces standards (regulations) to
improve on-the-job safety and health. OSHA standards are based on:

Workplace research

Advice from technical experts

The experience of employers, unions, and other interested parties

Specific OSHA standards:

Identify possible causes of job-related injury or illness.

Require and explain the procedures, equipment, and training that must be used to reduce
hazards and perform jobs safely.

Here's what else OSHA does. OSHA says it's currently focusing on three strategies designed to
improve workplace safety and health in America:

Enforcement. OSHA recognizes that the vast majority of employers want to do the right
thing when it comes to workplace safety, and most of them succeed. Therefore, the agency
seeks to assist those employers who that to improve safety still further, while concentrating
enforcement resources on sites in the most hazardous industries--especially those with high
injury and illness rates.

Outreach, education, and compliance assistance. OSHA's many print publications


provide a wealth of safety and health information for employers and employees alike. In
addition, free workplace consultations are
available in every state to small businesses Why It Matters ...
that want on-site help establishing safety and
o Since OSHA was created in 1971
health programs and identifying and correcting following enactment of the Occupational
workplace hazards. OSHA also has a network Safety and Health Act in 1970, the agency
of more than 70 compliance assistance has helped to cut workplace fatalities by
more than 60 percent and occupational
specialists in local offices available to provide injury and illness rates by 40 percent.
employers and employees with tailored
information and training. o At the same time, U.S.
employment has increased from 56 million
employees at 3.5 million worksites to more
Cooperative programs. OSHA's Alliance than 135 million employees at 8.9 million
Program enables employers, labor unions, sites.

trade or professional groups, government


o OSHA compliance programs offer
employers the opportunity to enter into
partnerships to improve workplace safety
and health rather than engaging in costly
and nonproductive adversarial
relationships with the agency.
agencies, and educational institutions that share an interest in workplace safety and health
to collaborate with OSHA to prevent injuries and illnesses in the workplace. In theStrategic
Partnership Program, OSHA enters into long-term cooperative relationships with groups of
employers, employees, and employee representatives to improve workplace safety and
health. Written agreements outline efforts to eliminate serious hazards and provide ways to
measure the effectiveness of a safety and health program. The Safety and Health
Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) is designed to provide incentives and support
to employers to develop, implement, and continuously improve effective safety and health
programs in their workplaces. Finally, the Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), a
partnership program between OSHA and highly motivated employers, recognizes safety and
health excellence. OSHA reports that VPP worksites save millions of dollars each year
because their injury and illness rates are more than 50 percent below the averages for their
industries.

To support its mission OSHA specifies safety and health rights and responsibilities. OSHA says that
among other responsibilities, you must:

Inspect and evaluate your workplace for potential hazards.

Take effective steps to eliminate or minimize hazards.

Comply with OSHA standards and keep records of workplace injuries and illness.

Train employees to recognize safety and health hazards and take precautions to prevent
accidents.

Employees have responsibilities, too. OSHA says employees must:

Comply with all applicable OSHA standards.

Follow the organization's safety and health rules and regulations.

Wear assigned PPE.

Report hazardous conditions.

Report any job-related injury or illness and seeking treatment.

Cooperate with OSHA compliance officers conducting inspections.

And then there are employee rights as well. Employees have the right to:

Review copies of OSHA regulations and request information about workplace hazards,
precautions, and procedures.

Gain access to relevant employee exposure and medical records.


Request an OSHA inspection if they believe hazardous conditions or violations of standards
exist in the workplace.

Accompany an OSHA compliance officer during the inspection tour and respond to questions
from the inspector.

Observe any monitoring or measuring of hazardous materials and see the resulting records,
as specified under the OSH Act and required by OSHA standards.

Review your OSHA 300 Log of Work-Related Occupational Injuries and Illnesses.

Refuse to be exposed to the danger of death or serious physical harm.