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How OSHA does protect employees from workplace injuries?

In 1906, Upton Sinclair published the landmark novel, "The Jungle", shining a light on the harsh and dangerous working conditions of employees in the meatpacking industry. It wasn't until more than six decades later though, when the United States government formed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, and passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, that worker's rights were legally protected against hazardous working conditions.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was designed to implement rules regarding workplace safety, monitor address unsafe workplace claims, and aid employees who have been injured at work. Employees are entitled to access to the necessary information and training to avoid harm in the workplace. In addition, they have the right to make a confidential complaint to OSHA, at which time OSHA will inspect the area for possible hazardous conditions.

The administration has certain laws in place to assure employees are working in a safe work environment, free of hazardous conditions, and that employers take necessary precautions and equip workers with the necessary equipment and safety materials to prevent such conditions. Employers are also required to post a list of OSHA citations and injuries, keep records of all work-related injuries, and include an OSHA poster within view of all employees.

Any worker who falls victim to a workplace injury will have significant challenges in the months and possibly years ahead. Construction worksites are common places where accidents occur, and could lead to workers suffering from amputations, broken bones or any number of catastrophic injuries. In addition to medical expenses, therapy and rehabilitation costs, the worker also suffers financial hurdles having to deal with lost wages due to the injuries. Workers in such a situation may want to speak with a legal professional to learn what legal options are available.

Source: findlaw.com, "Workplace Safety: OSHA and OSHA Act Overview," Accessed Jan. 17, 2017

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