Health & Safety Standards in the Workplace

By Desiree Lavoy
The Occupational Safety and Health Act serves to protect workers.

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The standards for maintaining a safe and healthy workplace are outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Act. These standards are put into place to protect workers from serious and life threatening injuries in the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Act has been amended since 1970 to improve its ability to promote safety and health in the workplace.

Access to Information

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers must post the regulations of OSHA in an area where it is accessible to all employees. This will ensure that all workers know their rights. Employees must also have access to full training in identifying hazards in the workplace. They must receive full training in the prevention of work-related injuries. Employers must provide information sheets for any chemicals that are used at work. OSHA suggests that all employees must also be made aware of emergency policies and procedures.

Employee Rights and Responsibilities

With regards to employee health and safety it is emphasized by OSHA that workers have the right to deny participation in work that they feel is unsafe. It is also the responsibility of the worker to report any unsafe conditions in the workplace to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and request that a qualified inspector visit their place of employment. Workers have the right to refuse dangerous work and request a workplace inspection without fear of job loss or retaliation.

Working Environment

As outlined by osha.gov, the Occupational Safety and Health Act indicates that the workplace must meet a healthy standard of cleanliness, and that all stairways and floor openings must be protected by a sturdy guardrail. In the event that working conditions involve hazards such as excessive noise, hazardous fumes and potential falling objects workers must be equipped with protective gear. Osha.gov also states that, "All walking and working surfaces must be in good repair and free from splinters, protruding nails, and loose floor boards."

About the Author

Desiree Lavoy has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her work has been featured on The Comedy Network's "Cream of Comedy," as well as on The Edge 102.0 and XM Satellite Radio. Lavoy writes on a variety of topics, including health, employment and DIY projects. She is an honors graduate of the Comedy Writing and Performance program at Humber College.

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