The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act covers most private sector employers and employees in the U.S., and outlines certain workplace health and safety standards covered employers must comply with.
One such requirement is that employers must continually and conspicuously display a poster, prepared by the US Department of Labor (DOL). This poster, titled “Job Safety and Health: It’s The Law,” outlines both the employee’s rights as well as the employer’s responsibilities afforded to them under the OSH Act and enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers who are covered by a State Plan may have an alternate poster provided through the individual State Plan.
Employees’ rights under the OSH Act include the right to:
A safe workplace.
Raise a safety/health concern or report a workplace injury or illness to their employer or OSHA without fear of retaliation.
Receive information and training on job hazards.
Request an OSHA inspection of their workplace.
File a complaint with OSHA in the event of retaliation.
See any OSHA citations issued to their employers.
The OSH Act also outlines employers’ responsibilities, which include:
Providing employees a workplace free of recognized hazards.
Comply with all applicable OSHA standards.
Report all work-related fatalities and severe injuries (amputations, hospitalizations, etc.) within the time frame required by OSHA.
Provide required training to all workers in a language and vocabulary they can understand.
Prominently display this poster in the workplace.
Post OSHA citations at or near the site of the alleged violation.
The above rights and responsibilities are outlined in more detail on the “Job Safety and Health” poster provided by OSHA (pictured below).
The “Job Safety and Health: It’s The Law” poster must be posted in a conspicuous place or places where employees are accustomed to viewing notices in each establishment where businesses is conducted or where services or operations are performed. (Such as an employee break room or other prominent location easily accessible to workers). OSHA also specifies posting requirements for employees who do not usually report to or work from a single establishment.
Obtaining a copy of the “Job Safety and Health” poster
The poster is available in several languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Polish, Nepali and Korean.
While an updated version of the poster was released earlier this year, previous versions are also considered acceptable.
Employers should also be aware that OSHA has strict regulations for reproducing the poster, and requires that all reproductions or facsimiles of the required federal or state posters should be at least 8.5” by 14″.
Penalties for noncompliance
Employers who are found to have violated the posting requirements as stated under the OSH Act may be issued a citation and can face penalties of up to $7,000 per violation.
Workplace safety is something that should be at the top of every employer’s priority list. Making sure that every worksite complies with all applicable OSHA job safety and health standards will not only help you avoid costly penalties, but also ensure your workers are remain happy, healthy and productive.
At G&A Partners, we believe prevention is the best defense against workplace accidents. Our team of highly trained workplace safety and risk management professionals help our clients design and administer safety programs that not only ensure they remain compliant with federal safety standards, but also provides them with the training, resources and support they need to make sound decisions regarding the health and safety of their employees.