Know Your Employer’s Safety and Health Responsibilities

At some point during your working life, you might find that you need to bring a legal case against your employer. Many of these cases are for accident and injury. The employee may feel that their employer hasn’t prevented these incidents. But how can you tell whether your employer has failed you or whether you had an accident that was no one’s fault?

One of the key things to know is how your employer is legally responsible for your health and safety while you’re at work. There are several things that your employer must do under Occupational Safety and Health law. The information below will outline what your employer should be doing to protect you in the workplace. If you suspect that they have no met their responsibilities, you can talk to a helpful attorney in St. Louis for advice.


Pc: Elliott Brown

Complying with the Occupational Safety and Health Act

Employers must provide a work environment that is free from serious hazards. They must make sure that they follow the standards, rules and regulations set out in the OSH Act. Part of this responsibility involves examining the workplace. They should ensure that conditions meet OSHA standards. Employers should update or put in place safety measures to ensure health and safety in the workplace. Measures that employers take could include things such as maintaining tools and equipment.

Signage and Warnings

Employers need to use visual aids to warn of potential hazards and to make health and safety regulations clear. They should use color-coding, posters, labels and signs to communicate these things. They must also post the OSHA poster or a poster equivalent in their state, in a prominent location. The poster informs workers of their rights under the OSH Act and employers must display it in a place where their employees can see it.

Hazardous Chemicals

If your company works with hazardous chemicals, employers are obligated to develop and put in place a written hazard communication program. They must train employees in the hazards exposed to them and the proper precautions in handling them. Copies of safety data sheets must be readily available to view.

Medical Examinations and Training

Employers must also provide medical examinations and training, where required by the OSHA standards. For example, employees handling asbestos must complete a medical questionnaire. Employers should provide safety training in a language and vocabulary their workers can understand.

Records and Reports

Part of being a responsible employer is maintaining transparency about safety and health practices. Employers must report any fatal accident to their nearest OSHA office within eight hours of it occurring. They also must report any incident that results in the hospitalization of three or more employees. Keeping records of accidents and injuries is also necessary. However, some small businesses and low-risk industries exempt. They must also provide employees access to the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, as well as their medical records.

Are you concerned that your employer may not be meeting their legal responsibilities? Seek advice from a lawyer or your nearest Occupational Safety and Health Administration office.