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The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970

From civil rights to safety, the federal government has created rules and regulations for employers in Texas and other states in the nation to follow. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 1970, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, a federal employment law targeted specifically at eliminating fatal and nonfatal injuries and illnesses on jobsites across the country.

The Act included the creation of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the government agency that researches safety issues and creates industry-specific standards and guidelines. OSHA is responsible for providing information to employers on how to comply with regulations, as well as educational materials for them to pass on to employees.

OSHA explains that compliance with federal guidelines is enforced through on-site inspections, as well as reporting systems for both employers and employees. For example, employers must record and report all injuries, illnesses and deaths that occurred on the job within a set timeframe. Employees have the right and responsibility to report unsafe conditions to their employers, and if the issues are not corrected, they may report the situation to OSHA. When there is a citation on a jobsite, it must be posted until it is corrected, or for a minimum of three days.

Employers must never take action against an employee who in good faith reports a perceived safety risk. After all, creating a hazard-free workplace is beneficial for both employers and workers and may reduce the chances of employment litigation. So, while employers have the right to appeal a citation, it is in their best interests to work within the system to eliminate situations that could harm employees.

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