You are entitled to a safe workplace. Under federal law, your employer must provide a workplace free of known health and safety hazards. If you have concerns, you have the right to speak up about them without fear of retaliation.
You also have the right to:
- Be trained in a language you understand
- Work on machines that are safe
- Be provided required safety gear, such as gloves or a harness and lifeline for falls
- Be protected from toxic chemicals
- Request an OSHA inspection, and speak to the inspector
- Report an injury or illness, and get copies of your medical records
- See copies of the workplace injury and illness log
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses
- Get copies of test results done to find hazards in the workplace
To that end, our work focuses on several key issue areas.
The Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) — The most important chemical control law in the United States. It gives the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) various authorities to take regulatory action against both new and existing chemical substances.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) inspections — OSHA is the government agency responsible for enforcing occupational safety and health regulations in the workplace. It fulfills this responsibility by inspecting workplaces, issuing citations, and imposing penalties for violations of federal safety and health standards.
Employer retaliation — When even only one employee files an OSHA complaint, that employee is supposed to be protected from retaliation under the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act. Unfortunately, the OSH Act’s anti-retaliation provision is limited and many employers still punish workers who exercise their rights under the OSH Act. Furthermore, just fear of retaliation may cause a chilling effect that makes workers less likely to file OSHA complaints. Given these realities, it is important to take whatever steps you can to protect yourself and co-workers from retaliation.