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How does OSHA help American workers?

Until as recently as the 1970's American workers were often subjected to harsh and dangerous working conditions. Whether they were working in a dangerous construction zone or a factory dealing with hazardous chemicals, employees had little protections in place.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 helped to change that. Along with the passing by the United States government act, they also formed the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, commonly known as OSHA to help protect American workers from dangerous working conditions, and put several regulations into effect to require that employers take proactive measures to keep their employees safe.

For employees, OSHA gives workers the right to have clear information and training regarding potentially hazardous conditions, it allows employees to learn about the company's history with work-related injuries and illnesses, and it allows for OSHA to inspect a worksite when there is the suspicion of dangerous conditions. In addition, workers are protected from retaliation from an employer for addressing any potential hazard.

Employers are obligated to locate and address any potential health or safety hazards, minimize or eliminate hazards when noticed, inform all employees of potential dangerous working conditions and provide workers with the necessary training and safety equipment at no cost to the employee. They are also required to maintain documentation concerning any work-related illness or injury that occurred.

Workers who have been injured or become ill while on the job may be entitled to workers' compensation which could include lost wages, pain and suffering and all medical expenses and rehabilitation costs. A victim may want to speak with a law firm that handles injuries and occupational illness to learn how to proceed.

Source: Findlaw.com "Workplace Safety: OSHA and OSHA Act," Accessed July 6, 2017

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