osha standards

According to OSHA, it is every employer’s job to adopt certain practices, methods, and processes that are necessary to ensure workers are protected while on the job. Therefore, OSHA has introduced the OSH Act that works to focus on two basic principles: setting standards and conducting inspections of workplaces to ensure employers are complying with OSHA standards and providing a safe working environment for all their employees. This makes it the employers’ job to eliminate hazards and risks from the workplace, while also providing their employees with the right kind of OSHA safety training required to make their work practices safer and more efficient.

Even if OSHA hasn’t set a standard to address specific hazards in certain workplaces, the employers of the place are still responsible for following the general duty clause of the OSH Act. This states that every employer “shall furnish a place of employment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”

Below are stated some of the standard employee/employer rights and responsibilities that you can follow as a guide for OSHA standards for safety training.

Rights & Responsibilities Employees

Employees have several rights granted to them by the OSH Act, among which is the right to inform and complain to OSHA about the safety standards in their workplace while having their identity kept confidential as OSHA takes action against the employer. The employee also has the right to participate in OSHA safety training courses and perform workplace inspections based on what they learn in their training.

The OSH Act doesn’t necessarily include self-employed individuals or public employees working for the state. The act also doesn’t apply to specific conditions addressed by regulations issued by the federal state other than OSHA. The following are some of the rights granted to employees by OSHA:

  • Review standards of safety set by employers to check if they’re in accordance with OSHA standards.
  • Request information on emergency procedures in the workplace.
  • Receive adequate health and safety training provided by OSHA and required by the standards as stated by the organization.
  • Ask OSHA Area Director to investigate hazardous conditions or violations of standards in your workplace.

Responsibilities and Rights as an Employer

An employer covered by the OSH Act should provide employees with standard safety measures that can otherwise result in harmful injuries or death. They must also comply with some statutory requirements stated by OSHA standards.

  • Provide tools and equipment that are well-maintained, including PPE.
  • Provide standard medical exams.
  • Provide proper training as stated in OSHA standards.
  • Keep records of work-related injuries and illnesses and other accidents.

Along with the responsibilities, the following are some of the rights granted to employers:

  • Request inspection warrants
  • Be informed of the reason for the inspection.
  • Accompany compliance officers as inspection is being done.
  • Have an opening and closing conference with compliance officers.

OSHA Standards for Health and Safety Training

OSHA provides a lot of behavior-based safety training programs and educational courses to ensure workers are educated and aware of all the necessary steps needed to make a workplace safe and secure. OSHA believes that when workers are an active part of every training and safety program, they don’t only actively learn ways to prevent injuries and accidents, but also provide input about how the training program is developed and focused on workplace safety hazards. The following are some requirements of the OSHA required checklist for safety training, with regard to specific industry-related tasks and hazards.

Operating Heavy Machinery and Equipment

  • Only employees who are proficient in operating heavy equipment and machinery should go near them and perform the tasks that include that equipment.
  • All employees should be aware of:
    • The hazards and preventive measures associated with their tasks.
    • Emergency actions plans.
  • Training provided to employees on the operation of equipment should be done by an experienced professional.
  • The employer shall certify that employees working on specific tasks have been trained and have an ample amount of knowledge to carry out those tasks and recognize their hazards and risks.

Occupational Noise Exposure

  • The employer shall provide training and proper protective equipment to employees who are to be exposed to noise at or above an 8-hour time-weighted average of 85 decibels.
  • This training shall be provided on an annual/bi-annual basis to ensure every employee is participating and aware of the risks entailed in their daily tasks and how to prevent injuries as a result of it to their hearing.
  • The employer should also certify that employees are trained on:
    • The effects of constant noise on hearing.
    • The use of hearing protection equipment and disadvantages of not using them on the job.

Management of Hazardous Chemicals

  • Each employee shall be trained before operating and managing hazardous chemicals. This includes safety and health hazards and emergency procedures.
  • All employees and employers/supervisors that are to engage in operating chemical substances should receive detailed prior training on the risks and hazards associated with managing and operating said chemical hazards and what to do in case of exposure.
  • Employees shall not be allowed to participate in any tasks that involve hazardous substances and chemicals unless they have been trained properly.

Other Safety Hazards:

OSHA standards also have detailed guidelines regarding some other safety hazards like operating electric tasks or using stairways and ladders or even working in confined spaces. The standards for OSHA safety training in such situations are as follows:

  • When operating ladders and stairways, the employer should ensure that their employees have been trained in the following areas:
    • The nature of fall hazards at the workplace.
    • The correct procedures for setting up, maintaining, and taking down, fall protection systems needed to be used.
    • The proper handling and maintenance of ladders and stairways to be used.
  • The employer shall educate and train employees on the usage of fire extinguishers.
    • A group of employees should be trained and designated to use firefighter equipment when there is an emergency.
  • Workers required to work in tasks including welding, cutting, and brazing shall be provided with detailed training on using the right equipment for the tasks while also being provided the proper protective equipment they need to keep themselves safe from exposure.

This was a brief overview of OSHA standards for safety training for employers as well as employees. The organization also has principles in place which disallow employers from discriminating against employees who report them to the authorities for failing to follow standard procedures of workplace safety. If you need more information on this or any other topic regarding workplace safety, you can contact Elite-Leather Creations for information.

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