What is OSHA, Why is it Important and How Does it Contribute to Job Safety and Health?

What is OSHA, Why is it Important and How Does it Contribute to Job Safety and Health?

OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is a federal agency established under the OSH Act of 1970 and is part of the Department of Labor. OSH Act was passed to prevent workers from being killed or seriously harmed at work.

Who Does OSHA Cover?

Private Sector Workers and some public sector employees
Federal Government Workers

What are the OSHA Rights and Responsibilities?

Employers MUST:

  • Follow all relevant OSHA safety and health standards
  • Find and correct safety and health hazards
  • Inform employees about chemical hazards through training, labels, alarms, color-coded systems, chemical information sheets, and other methods.
  • Provide required PPE (personal protective equipment) at no cost to workers
  • Notify OSHA within 8 hours of a workplace fatality or within 24 hours of any work-related inpatient hospitalization, amputation or loss of an eye (1-800-321-OSHA [6742]); www.osha.gov/report_online).
  • Keep accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses
  • Post OSHA citations, injury and illness summary data, and the OSHA Job Safety and Health – It’s The Law poster in the workplace where workers will see them.
  • Not retaliate against any worker for using their rights under the law

Employees have the right to:

  • Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
  • Receive information and training (in a language workers can understand) about chemical and other hazards, methods to prevent harm, and OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
  • Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
  • Get copies of test results done to find and measure hazards in the workplace.
  • File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA rules. When requested, OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
  • Use their rights under the law without retaliation. If an employee is fired, demoted, transferred, or retaliated against in any way for using their rights under the law, they can file a complaint with OSHA. This complaint must be filed within 30 days of the alleged retaliation.

What are the OSHA Standards?

OSHA standards are rules that describe the methods employers are legally required to follow to protect their workers from hazards.

Construction, General Industry, Maritime, and Agriculture standards protect workers from a wide range of serious hazards. These standards limit the amount of hazardous chemicals workers can be exposed to, require the use of certain safe practices and equipment, and require employers to monitor certain workplace hazards.

Examples of OSHA standards include requirements to provide fall protection, prevent trenching cave-ins, prevent exposure to some infectious diseases, ensure the safety of workers who enter confined spaces, prevent exposure to such harmful substances as asbestos and lead, put guards on machines, provide respirators or other safety equipment, and provide training for certain dangerous jobs.

Employers must also comply with the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act. This clause requires employers to keep their workplaces free of serious recognized hazards and is generally cited when no specific OSHA standard applies to the hazard.

When are OSHA Inspections required?

Inspections are initiated without advance notice, conducted using on-site or telephone and facsimile investigations, performed by highly trained compliance officers and based on the following priorities:

  • Imminent danger.
  • Catastrophes – fatalities or hospitalizations.
  • Worker complaints and referrals.
  • Targeted inspections – particular hazards, high injury rates.
  • Follow-up inspections.

On-site inspections can be triggered by a complaint from a current worker or their representative if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA standards or rules.

Why is OSHA Important to your Business?

  • Following OSHA standards leads to a safer workplace and results in greater productivity and profitability.
  • Although U.S. employment has almost doubled, workplace fatalities have gone down by more than 65 percent since OSHA’s inception in 1970.

How does Total Equipment Training Help You?

Regardless of whether you are a major corporation, sub-contractor, or independent heavy equipment operator, we know what standards apply to your heavy equipment or general industry activity and how to communicate the standards effectively to your employees through our knowledgeable trainers, written materials and PowerPoint presentations.

Our training materials are updated continually to current OSHA/ASME standards and our onsite training is tailored specifically to the heavy equipment that your employees operate.

Total Equipment Training Options:

Onsite OSHA Qualification Training Specific to your Heavy Equipment and Industry Needs

We offer a 2 part OSHA General Industry Qualification training at your location consisting of:

  • Classroom: equipment safe operation and maintenance
  • Practical Hands-on Evaluations of each employee who has completed the classroom training

Total Equipment Training onsite trainers have 15 years of heavy equipment operation/training and inspection experience.

Total Equipment Training onsite training is site-specific to your equipment, at your location, to your requirements, and your employee’s experience.

Certificates and wallet cards are provided to each employee who has successfully completed the 2 part training program.

Online OSHA General Industry Safety Guideline Training

Classroom safety training can be accessed online at your employee’s convenience for the following equipment and topics:

Barb Fullman- CEO of Total Equipment Training
About the Author

As the owner of Total Equipment Training, Barb Fullman has been an active contributor to the heavy equipment training industry for over 23 years. Barb, a Penn State University graduate, is recognized as the highest ranking women-owned heavy equipment training business in the US. As a leading authority and provider of heavy equipment training, training manuals and tests based on OSHA Standards and Regulations, Total Equipment Trainings’ client list is composed of most of the Fortune 1000 companies focusing on energy, construction, heavy highway, and manufacturing.

Barb’s motto is “Stay safe, stay up to date”. She is committed to up-to-date & technically correct training, whether it is via in-person or through our library of online heavy equipment resources. With over 50 OSHA qualifying training topics to choose from with TET, the most popular heavy equipment training subjects are mobile cranes, NCCCO, all “dirt equipment”, rigging, crane inspections, and train-the-trainer.