Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

What is OSHA?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is an agency of the US government under the Department of Labor. Congress created OSHA from the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, to ensure health and safety standards for employee working conditions. 

OSHA’s mission is to aid in prevention of work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. OSHA also sets and enforces standards by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.

Employer OSHA Requirements and Regulations

  1. OSHA Record keeping: Certain employers are required to prepare and maintain records of serious occupational injuries and illnesses using the OSHA 300 Log.  
  2. OSHA Employee Number: Businesses with more than 10 employees must maintain OSHA injury and illness records unless OSHA classifies the business as exempt. If you have less than 10 employees during the year, you do not have to keep illness and injury records. 

By law, employers must provide their workers with a workplace that doesn’t have hazards and must follow all OSHA safety and health standards. Employers must find and correct any known safety and health issues in the workplace. OSHA further requires employers to eliminate hazards by making possible changes in working conditions rather than relying on personal protective equipment such as masks, gloves, earplugs, etc. 

When necessary, employers must: 

  1. Provide safety training to workers in a language they understand. 
  2. Keep accurate records or work-related injuries and illnesses. 
  3. Perform tests in the workplace, such as air sampling. 
  4. Provide personal protective equipment at no cost to workers. 
  5. Provide hearing exams and other tests when required by OSHA standards.
  6. Post OSHA citations and annually post injury and illness summary data where workers can see them. 
  7. Notify OSHA within 8 hours of a workplace fatality. 
  8. Notify OSHA within 24 hours of all work-related inpatient hospitalizations, amputations, etc. 
  9. Display the official OSHA Job Safety and Health – It’s the Law poster. 
  10. Not retaliate or discriminate against workers for using their rights under the law.

Visit the Depart of Labor OSHA website to learn more.

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