The Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), created in 1970, is a federal agency designed to assure safe and healthful conditions for workers through the implementation of various safety regulations, procedures, and enforcement mechanisms. All private workers are covered by OSHA.
In general, OSHA requires that employers keep their workplace free of serious recognized hazards. More specifically, OSHA requires employers to:
- Inform employees of hazards;
- Keep accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses;
- Perform tests, such as air sampling;
- Provide medical exams, such as hearing tests;
- Post certain data, including an OSHA poster;
- Inform OSHA within 8 hours of a workplace incident in which there is a death or 3 or more workers go to a hospital.
OSHA has industry specific standards for Construction, General Industry, Maritime, and Agricultural businesses. For an in-depth description of various standards and regulations, visit OSHA Law and Regulations.
OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program
OSHA also offers a free, confidential on-site consultation for small and medium sized businesses. These visits will not result in fines or citations but merely help the employer identify workplace hazards, provide advice on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing injury and illness prevention programs. The consultation office in Ohio is:
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation Division of Safety and Hygiene, OSHA On-Site Consultation 13430 Yarmouth Drive Pickerington, OH 43147 Phone: (800) 282-1425 Fax: (614) 644-3133
The On-Site Consultation program is an excellent place to start if you have questions on whether your business is complying with OSHA regulations and trainings.