December 14, 2023
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 led to the creation of an administration that strives to provide safe work environments free of known dangers — the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The objective of OSHA is to set and enforce protective workplace safety and health standards at your Muncie workplace. OSHA achieves their objective by providing information, training, and assistance to both employers and workers about safe workplaces. OSHA does more than that; they empower Muncie workers to fight for their right to a safe and healthy work condition. Muncie employees have the right to:
- File confidential complaints
- Receive information and training about hazards and prevention methods
- Review reports of work-related injuries
- Receive copies of data collected that measures hazards
- Receive medical records of their workplace
- Speak with a private OSHA inspector
- File a complaint if they have been retaliated against by an employer
For a job to be a good job, it must be safe. Understanding that some jobs have risks involved, it is still the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe workplace that does not have serious hazards and must follow all safety and health standards put in place by OSHA. Considering certain job risks are unavoidable, the further requirement is that employers attempt to decrease or eliminate hazards through various changes. Such precautions employers must take are:
- Displaying official OSHA posters
- Informing workers about hazards
- Keeping accurate records or injuries and illnesses
- Performing tests in the workplace
- Providing medical tests
- Postings OSHA citations
- Notifying OSHA of workplace injuries
- Restraining from retaliating against workers who utilize their right for a safe work environment.
Most employers, in the private or government sectors, have to comply with the OSH Act. Indiana is one of the states with an OSHA-approved program for the state and local government workers. There are a few fields where an employee is not covered by the OSH Act: self-employed, immediate family of farm employers, and workplace hazards that are regulated by other federal agencies. For the majority of those employed in Muncie, the OSH Act offers protection from workplace injuries.
What Happens If a Report Is Made to OSHA?
In 2016, the Townsend Tree Service Company LLC of Muncie received a serious citation following an OSHA investigation of the death of a ground crewman who died after hospitalized for a core body temperature above 108 degrees. The ground crewman was employed at a high-risk job; therefore, in compliance with the OSH Act, Townsend Tree Service Company was expected to minimize or reduce further hazardous conditions to the best of their abilities. The conclusion was made that the working conditions were not adjusted for working long hours in direct sunlight with a heat index of 110 degrees. Townsend failed to provide proper heat prevention and acclimatization programs to employees. After the case was reviewed, OSHA issued penalties and required recommendations for Townsend. Several of the recommendations were additional training, medical evaluations, and adjusting work practices.
Even though this was an unfortunate example of a workplace hazard, this was also an example of the serious acts and preventions OSHA requires employers to take. It is OSHA’s expectation that when working to provide for your family, your employer will ensure a safe and healthy work environment. Every complaint is evaluated by OSHA to determine the grounds of a violation of health and safety. If it is reasonable to believe a violation has happened, OSHA inspects the complaint based on severity of the alleged hazard. The complaint handling process is unique based on each circumstance, and OSHA provides an outline for the complaint handling process on their website.
Consult a Muncie Workers’ Compensation Attorney
There is always a possibility that additional damages can be sought based on your specific case. To see what your options are, it’s best to seek help from knowledgeable sources. Call the attorneys at Hensley Legal Group or contact us online for a free consultation today.