We All Have Rights: A Safe and Healthy Workplace is One of Them!

Filed in DOL, Safety, Workplace Rights by on August 26, 2014 1 Comment

Your job should not cost you your life. Or a limb. Or your lungs.

If you work in the United States, you have the right to come home safe and healthy from your job at the end of every shift. At OSHA, our job is to help make sure that employers protect every worker from being hurt, sickened or killed on the job.

As a worker in the United States, you have the right to:

  • Raise workplace safety and health concerns or report workplace injuries and illnesses to your employer without being punished – fired, demoted or retaliated against in any other way.
  • File a complaint with OSHA if you think your workplace is dangerous. We will keep it confidential.
  • See records of injuries and illnesses that have occurred in your workplace.

This Labor Rights Week, Aug. 25-29, we want to make sure that all workers understand that we all have these rights, and we are here to make sure those rights are respected. To ensure that all workers have a fair shot at making a living and providing for their families, OSHA enforces the law that requires employers to maintain a safe workplace, free of recognized hazards and provide workers with the training, tools and equipment they need to do their jobs safely.

Depending on your job, this can mean protection from falls, proper clothing and medical exams if you work with asbestos or lead, hearing protection if you are exposed to loud noise, or special training if you work around hazardous chemicals. Training must be provided in a language and vocabulary that you can understand.

Recognizing the particularly vulnerable status of certain worker groups, OSHA, in partnership with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, released recommended practices earlier this week for staffing agencies and host employers to better protect temporary workers from hazards on the job.

In addition to the work we do every day, we will be joining with businesses, labor groups, universities and community organizations to host outreach events this week in recognition of Labor Rights Week. We’re also establishing or strengthening partnerships with foreign embassies and consulates from California to Texas to Massachusetts on protecting the rights of workers.

To learn more about events in your area, visit our Labor Rights Week events page. For more information about workers’ rights to a safe and healthy workplace, visit www.osha.gov/workers. To report a workplace safety or health hazard or learn more, call 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Dr. David Michaels is the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.


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  1. Bruce says:

    On May 1990, I graduated CSUN with a B.S. degree in Env. Sci. Occup. Hlth, IH. For 24 years, I have been trying to use Federal and State Special Disability Employment Programs with no success. Presently ALL Employment Programs (EEO too) must be upgraded to Must Hire qualified applicants on Calif. LEAP, Federal Schedule A, and Fed. Ticket-to-Work Program. Schedule A is an option to hire and/or to promote (help) program.

    Possess 1.7 years of Air Pollution Specialist experience with the California Air Resources Board, Mobile Source Control Division within two sections related to control/stop of vehicle toxic air contaminants.

    Please can you help me? Where are Equal Employment Opportunities for disability people?

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