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What is OSHA?

Forty-seven years ago, the United States Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to help protect American workers. Along with the passing of the act came the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, an organization designed to not only protect workers from dangers in the workplace but to provide and enforce guidelines for employers to ensure the safety of their workers.

Employees are granted very specific rights through OSHA including the right to have a complete and thorough understanding of the potential hazards and dangers in their workspace, the right to review documentation regarding previous injuries or illnesses, the right to file a claim and to have OSHA review potential safety violations without fear of retaliation from their employer.

In addition, OSHA provides guidelines for employers to follow to minimize the chance of an injury, illness or death for their workers. In addition to providing their workers with a workplace where all necessary precautions are taken to minimize the chance of serious hazards, employers are to provide all necessary protective gear and safeguards at no cost to their employees, promptly inform employees of any possible hazards that may exist, train employees on how to deal with any hazardous situations that may arise, keep a log of all work-related injuries and leave OSHA posters and a list of previous OSHA injuries and citations at the jobsite.

If you have been the victim of a work injury and you believe that negligence by your employer may be to blame, it is in your best interest to file a claim with OSHA so they can investigate the jobsite. To assure that you receive the appropriate worker's compensation and possibly compensation for your injuries or illnesses, you may also want to speak with a law professional to explore additional options.

Source: findlaw.com, "Workplace Safety: OSHA and OSH Act Overview," Accessed Mar. 1, 2017

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Stephen P. New, Attorney at Law
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Beckley, WV 25801

Phone: 304-250-3280
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