A Georgia-based company is alleged to repeatedly violated OSHA safety requirements over the past 7 years, resulting in more than a half a million dollars in fines and penalties. Alleged violations include improper fall prevention equipment such as harnesses and failure to ensure workers were wearing eye protection when operating high powered nail guns.
The US Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the federal agency established by US Congress to ensure workplace safety by investigating and enforcing employer compliance to the Occupation Safety and Health Act (1970).
Under the Occupation Safety and Health Act, employers are required to provide employees information on safety concerns and ensure a safe working environment. Some examples of employer responsibilities include:
- Proper disclosure and labeling of chemicals and other hazardous materials.
- Providing safety training to employees.
- Annual disclosure of workplace accidents.
- Prompt notification of workplace fatalities to OSHA within 8 hours.
- Providing personal protective equipment to employees (workers cannot be required to purchase PPE)
- Proper display of OSHA citations and information posters in conspicuous locations for employees to read.
Under OSHA, Employees have the right to:
- Safe working conditions that do not pose serious harm or risk of injury or death
- File a formal complaint with OSHA and request an inspection of their job site, while remaining confidential.
- Participate in OSHA inspections and speak privately with an OSHA inspector upon request
- Protection from retaliation or discrimination due to filing an OSHA complaint or request for inspection.
- Receive copies of work-related injuries and illnesses that occur in their workplace, results from tests measuring hazards, and copies of their workplace medical records.
- Receive training regarding workplace safety, handling of hazardous materials, and OSHA standards. This training must be conducted in a language and vocabulary level that is understandable by the employee.
- Temporary employees must be treated as permanent employees in respect to OSHA standards and protections.
If you are terminated, or suffer from retaliation due to an OSHA complaint, you may be entitled to protections under federal “Whistleblower” laws. To see if you qualify under these statutes, you need an experienced and dedicated employment lawyer to handle your case. The attorneys of Massey & Duffy have represented workers in Alachua County, Levy County, Bradford County, Lake County, Sumter County and Columbia County with special expertise in the construction industry.
Construction and factory workers are often the most vulnerable to dangerous and hazardous working conditions. Without OSHA compliance, your health and even your life may be at risk. If you have filed a complaint or wish to file a complaint under the Whistleblower’s Protection Act, we can offer you a FREE CONSULTATION and explain your rights. Call (352) 505-8900 to schedule an appointment.