Dallas Law Firm Blog

What is OSHA?

What is OSHAIf you have worked in or near a construction area, then you have probably heard the term “OSHA” thrown around, but what is OSHA? OSHA stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which was created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. It is a division of the Department of Labor, and its goal is to reduce or eliminate workplace injuries. It works to reduce hazards and implement safety and health programs. It is particularly useful in dangerous workplaces, like construction zones.

OSHA creates both employee rights as well as employer obligations. It is supposed to not only compel employers to be sure that they are providing a safe environment for their employee, but also ensure that the employee has all of the knowledge and resources to ensure their own safety.

Employee Rights

• Review copies of appropriate standards and regulations
• Receive copies of any tests to find hazards in the workplace
• Have access to relevant employee exposure and medical records
• Request that an OSHA inspector check their workplace if they believe that there are hazardous conditions or violations of standards present
• Remain anonymous if they complain to OSHA about the working environment
• Review records of work-related injuries
• Freedom from discriminatory retaliation if the employee reports an OSHA violation

Employer Responsibilities

• Provide a workplace free of recognized hazards
• Provide employees with safe tools and equipment
• Display the OSHA rights and responsibilities poster
• Provide safety training in a language that the employee can understand
• Inform employees of OSHA safety and health standards
• Inform employees of their medical and exposure records, including location and availability
• Provide medical and exposure records upon request

Employees are encouraged to report uncorrected hazards to OSHA. They can contact the area OSHA office directly or file a written complaint. If either OSHA or the state safety office believes that there are grounds for the complaint, then they will perform an inspection on the property.

What to do if you have been Injured

Being injured at all is extremely stressful, but being injured at work or at a construction site requires you to keep in mind some very important aspects of your injury. This can be very difficult to do, but knowing the steps you should take ahead of time should help.

• Get medical attention immediately
• Report the injury to the construction site manager or your employer (note the name and the position of the person notified)
• Gather the names and contact information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident
• Preserve evidence related to your injury, including taking photographs of the scene of the injury and the actual injury, and keeping the equipment that caused the injury (or getting a photo of it)
• Contact an experienced construction accident attorney as soon as possible after your accident

A construction accident attorney can help you evaluate your claim. Construction accidents are very complex, so it will be helpful to have someone explain the many layers involved in determining liability in a construction accident case.