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Worker rights and the Occupational Safety and Health Act

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 established OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as a part of the Department of Labor. OSHA was created in order to reduce workplace dangers and establish safety standards and health programs.

Under the OSH Act of 1970, workers are afforded specific rights. These include the right to:

-- Have access to employee medical records.

-- Review information about OSHA rules, standards, requirements and regulations that employers must adhere to, and that must be available to workers.

-- Ask for an OSHA inspection to be performed at the employee's workplace if there may be an OSHA violation or hazardous conditions.

-- Receive copies of tests pertaining to potential workplace hazards.

-- Communicate with OSHA confidentially when filing a complaint.

-- Be protected from retaliatory and discriminatory actions taken by employers following a complaint made to OSHA.

-- Have access to records relating to workplace illnesses and injuries.

OSHA has now been in place for over 40 years, doing everything it can to ensure that workers in New Jersey and other parts of the country are as safe as possible on the job. However, there is only so much that this workplace safety regulator can do to prevent accidents and injuries.

At some point, no matter what kind of jobs employees are performing, some kind of work-related injuries and/or illnesses will occur. It is in these situations that a workers' compensation claim can be enormously helpful in getting money to pay for injured workers' medical care in addition to a variety of other benefits depending on the facts surrounding the workers' claims.

Source: FindLaw, "OSHA and Construction Workers' Right to a Safe Workplace," accessed Nov. 04, 2016

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