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MODULE 1 A

Introduction to OSHA and


the OSHA Act

Course Description

The purpose of course is to provide workers

with introductory information about OSHA


Comprised of the following six lessons
Why is OSHA important to you?
What rights do you have under OSHA?
What responsibilities does your employer
have under OSHA?
What do the OSHA standards say?
How are OSHA inspections conducted?
Where can you go for help?

Learning Objectives
Explain why OSHA is important to workers.
Explain worker rights under OSHA.
Discuss employer responsibilities under OSHA.
Discuss the use of OSHA standards.
Explain how OSHA inspections are conducted.
Utilize helpful worker safety and health resources.

Lesson Scope
History of OSHA and the OSH Act
OSHA Coverage
OSHA's Mission
State Plans
OSHA's Impact
Importance of this Training
Fatality/Catastrophe Report

Lesson 1
Why is OSHA Important
to you?

OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety


and Health Administration, an agency of the
U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA's
responsibility is worker safety and health
protection. The U.S. Congress created OSHA
under the Occupational Safety and Health
Act of 1970 (the OSH Act).
OSHA began because, until 1970, there

OSHA's History of Saving Lives


The Occupational

Safety and Health


Administration(OSHA)
has helped employers
and employees reduce
injuries, illnesses, and
deaths on the job in
America
U.S. employment has

more than doubled and


now includes over 115
million workers at 7.2
million worksites
OSHA provides national

leadership in

Events Leading to the


Creation of the OSHA Law
The
1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Comp
any fire
in New York City killed 146 of
500 employees in one of the
worst work-related disasters
in our country's history.

Production for World War I


caused a crisis in workplace
safety and health conditions.
The government created a
Working Conditions Service to
help states inspect plants and
reduce hazards.

Events Leading to the


Creation of the OSHA Law
In the 1930's, as part of President

Roosevelt's New Deal, additional laws


increased the federal government's role in
job safety and health.
By the late 1950's, the Federal-State
partnership could no longer deal with the
growing workforce and increasing hazards.
By the 1960's, 14,000 workers died every
year and more than 2.2 million workers were
not able to work from injuries and illnesses

The OSH Act

On December 29, 1970,

President Nixon signed the


OSH Act. This Act created
OSHA, the agency, which
formally came into being
on April 28, 1971
The OSH Act is also known
as Public Law 91-596. It
covers all private sector
employers and their
workers in the 50 states
and all territories and
jurisdictions under federal
authority.
Religious groups are
covered if they employ

Who is Covered by the OSH


Act?
OSHA covers all employees
and their
employers in the 50 states and certain
territories and jurisdictions under federal
government authority
Coverage is provided either directly by
federal OSHA or through an OSHAapproved state program
Section 19 of the OSH Act makes federal
agency heads responsible for providing
safe and healthful working conditions for
their employees
The OSH Act also requires federal
agencies to comply with standards

Which Groups Do Not Come


Under OSHA's Coverage?
The self-employed
Immediate members of
farming families not
employing outside workers
Mine workers, certain
truckers and transportation
workers, and atomic energy
workers who are covered by
other federal agencies
Public employees in state
and local governments,
although some states have
their own plans that cover
these workers

OSHA's Mission
The mission of OSHA

is to save lives,
prevent injuries and
protect the health of
America's workers
OSHA also assists
the States in their
efforts to assure safe
and healthful
working conditions,
through OSHAapproved job safety
and health programs
operated by

OSHA's Impact

Since OSHA's creation in 1970, the

nation has made substantial progress


in occupational safety and health

Importance of This Training


This training will help you know whether your

employer is complying with OSHA standards


What rights you have related to job safety
and health, and where you can go if you need
help.
When you know your rights, and when
employers act responsibly to prevent
hazards, the result will be fewer worker
deaths, injuries and illnesses
Training and education are key in
making this happen

Summary
Basic information about your safety and

health at work
The importance of OSHA, including the

history of safety and health regulation


leading to the creation of OSHA
OSHA's mission
The importance of this training

Lesson 2
What right do you have
under OSHA?

Your Right to Be Informed


Employers are

responsible for
keeping
employees
informed about
OSHA and the
various safety and
health matters
that may affect
them as it is their
right under the
OSH Act
OSHA requires
that each
employer post

Workers' Rights
Right to a Safe and

Healthful Workplace
A safe and healthful
workplace means
that hazards are
removed and
workers are trained.
If a hazard cannot
be removed
completely,
protection (for
example, respirators
or earplugs) must be
provided

Right to Know About Hazardous Chemicals


Employers must have

a written, complete
:
hazard
communication
program that includes
information on:
Container labelling .
Material Safety Data
Sheets (MSDSs)
Worker training must
include the physical
and health hazards of
the chemicals and
how workers can

Right to Information about Injuries and


Illnesses in your Workplace

OSHA's Recordkeeping

rule requires most


employers with more than
10 workers to keep a log
of injuries and illnesses.
The log, which is also
called the OSHA 300,
must contain all workrelated injuries and
illnesses resulting in lost
workdays, restricted work
or transfer to another job,
as well as any incident

Right to Complain or Request Hazard


Correction from Your Employer

Workers may bring up

safety and health


concerns in the
workplace to their
employers without fear
of discharge or
discrimination, as long as
the complaint is made in
good faith. OSHA
regulations [29CFR
1977.9(c)] protect
workers who complain to
their employer about

Anti-Discrimination Provisions
The OSH Act prohibits

employment retaliation
against an employee who
complains to an employer,
files a complaint related to
workplace safety or health
conditions, initiates a
proceeding, contests an
abatement date, requests
information from OSHA, or
testifies under the Act. In
certain circumstances, an
employee may refuse to
work under seriously
threatening health or

Workers Right
Right to Training
You have a right to

get training from your


employer on a variety
of health and safety
hazards and
standards that your
employer must follow.
We've already
discussed the training
required under
OSHA's Hazard

Right to

Hazardous
Exposure
Records and
Medical Records
Under OSHA's
standard1910,1920,
you have the right to
examine and copy
exposure and
medical records,
including records of

Workers Right

Right to File a

Complaint with
OSHA
You mayfile a

complaintwith OSHA if
you believe a violation
of a safety or health
standard or an imminent
danger situation exists
in your workplace. You
may request that your
name not be revealed
to your employer. You
can file a complaint
onOSHAs website, in
writing or

Right to

Participate in an
OSHA Inspection
If an OSHA
inspection is
conducted in your
workplace, you have
the right to have your
representative
accompany the
inspector on the
inspection
You also have the

Right to be Free from Retaliation for


Exercising Safety & Health Rights
Workers have a right to seek

safety and health on the job


without fear of punishment.
That right is spelled out in
Section 11(c) of the OSH Act.
The law says the employer
shall not punish or
discriminate against
employees for exercising such
rights as complaining to the
employer, union, OSHA, or
any other government agency
about safety and health
hazards. Workers are also
protected for participation in

Workers' Responsibilities
OSHA holds employers

responsible for the safety


and health conditions in
the workplace and does not
cite workers for violations.
However, Section 5(b) of
the OSHA Act states that
each employee shall
comply with occupational
safety and health
standards and all
applicable rules,
regulations and orders.
Workers are encouraged to
follow all appropriate safety
and health rules, and wear

Workers' Responsibilities:
Read the OSHA poster.
Follow the employer's safety and health

rules and wear or use all required (PPE).


Follow safe work practices for your job, as
directed by your employer.
Report hazardous conditions to a
supervisor or safety committee.
Report hazardous conditions to OSHA if
employers do not fix them.
Cooperate with OSHA inspectors.

Summary
Basic information about your worker's rights

and responsibilities, and employer


responsibilities. We have covered:
The Right to a Safe and Healthful Workplace
The Right to Know about Hazardous
Chemicals
The Right to Information about Injuries and
Illnesses in Your Workplace
The Right to Complain or Request Hazard
Correction from Employer
The Right to Training

Summary

The Right to Hazard Exposure and Medical Records

The Right to File a Complaint with OSHA


The Right to Participate in an OSHA Inspection
The Right to Be Free from Retaliation for Exercising
Safety and Health Rights
Worker Responsibilities

Lesson 3
What responsibilities does
your employer have under
OSHA?

Provide a Workplace Free from


Recognized Hazards and Comply with
OSHA Standards
Establishing a safe and

healthful workplace
requires every employer to
make safety and health a
priority
Maintain conditions and
adopt practices reasonably
necessary to protect
workers on the job. The
first and best strategy is to
control the hazard at its
source. Engineering
controls do this, unlike
other controls that

Provide a Workplace Free from


Recognized Hazards and Comply with
OSHA Standards
Ensure that workers are

provided with, and use,


personal protective
equipment, when needed.
When exposure to hazards
cannot be engineered
completely out of normal
operations or maintenance
work, and when safe work
practices and other forms of
administrative controls
cannot provide sufficient
additional protection, an
additional method of control

Provide Training Required by OSHA Standards


We already discussed your right to

receive training from your employer


on a variety of health and safety
hazards and standards, such as
chemical right to know, fall
protection, confined spaces and
personal protective equipment
Many OSHA standards specifically
require the employer to train
workers in the safety and health
aspects of their jobs. Other OSHA
standards make it the employer's
responsibility to limit certain job
assignments to those who are
"certified," "competent," or
"qualified" -- meaning that they

Provide Training Required by


OSHA Standards
Required to handle or use poisons, caustics, and

other harmful substances.


Who may be exposed to job sites where harmful

plants or animals are present.


Required to handle or use flammable liquids,

gases, or toxic materials.


Required to enter into confined or enclosed

spaces.

Specific Training Requirements


There are also more specific training

requirements, particularly in standards put


into effect since 1990. For example,
OSHA's scaffold standard and fall
protection standard each has a separate
section on training requirements that is
intended to clarify the general training
requirements in 1926.21(b)(2).
The scaffold requirement says that
employers shall have each employee who
performs work while on a scaffold trained
by a person qualified in the subject matter
to recognize the hazards associated with

Additional Specific Training Requirement


OSHA'sHazard Communicationstandard applies

to both General Industry and Construction workers


and requires that employers provide workers with
effective information and training on hazardous
chemicals in their work area at the time of their
initial assignment, and whenever a new physical
or health hazard is introduced. In addition, as we
discussed earlier, chemical-specific information
must always be available through labels and
material safety data sheets (MSDSs).
OSHA requires the use of personal protective
equipment (PPE) to reduce employee exposure to
hazards when engineering and administrative
controls are not feasible or effective in reducing
these exposures to acceptable levels

Keeping Records of Injuries and Illnesses


Including:
Set up a reporting

system.
Provide copies of logs,
upon request.
Post the annual
summary.

Recordkeeping
is
an
important
part
of
an
employer's responsibilities.
Keeping
records
allows
OSHA to collect survey
material,
helps
OSHA
identify
high-hazard
industries, and informs you,

Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries,


Illnesses

The Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses

(commonly called theOSHA 300 Log) is used


to list injuries and illnesses and track days
away from work, restricted, or transferred.
The Injury and Illness Report (Form 301) is
used to record more information about each
case. Employers can use a workers'
compensation or insurance form, if it contains
the same information.
The Summary (OSHA Form 300A) shows the
totals for the year in each category. A
company executive must certify that he or
she has examined the OSHA Log and believes

Provide Medical Exams and


Access When Required
We discussed access

to medical records
earlier when covering
worker rights. When
you are working with
chemicals or other
hazardous
substances, your
employer may be
required to conduct
monitoring or provide
medical

No Discrimination Against
Workers Who Exercise Rights
Section 11(c) of the Act

prohibits your employer


from discharging or in any
manner retaliating against
you or any worker for
exercising your rights under
the Act. We've covered
many of your rights under
OSHA earlier
OSHA also administers the
whistle blower provisions of
17 other statutes, protecting
workers who report
violations of various
trucking, airline, nuclear

Post OSHA Citations and Abatement


Verification Notices

An OSHA citation

informs the employer


and workers of the
standards violated, the
length of time set for
correction, and
proposed penalties
resulting from an OSHA
inspection.
Your employer must
post a copy of each
citation at or near
places where the

Provide and Pay for PPE


As we mentioned

earlier, OSHA requires


the use of personal
protective equipment
(PPE) to reduce
employee exposure to
hazards when
engineering and
administrative controls
are not feasible or
effective in reducing
these exposures to
acceptable levels.
Employers are required

Provide and Pay for PPE


Examples of PPE that

employers must pay for


include:
Metatarsal foot protection
Rubber boots with steel toes
Non-prescription eye
protection
Prescription eyewear
inserts/lenses for full face
respirators
Goggles and face shields
Fire fighting PPE (helmet,
gloves, boots, proximity suits,
full gear)

Summary
During this lesson, you have been introduced

to basic information about employer


responsibilities. We have covered:
Provide a workplace free from recognized
hazards and comply with OSHA standards.
Provide training required by OSHA
standards.
Keep records of injuries and illnesses:
1. Set up a reporting system.
2. Provide copies of logs, upon request.
3. Post the annual summary.
4. Report within 8 hours any accident
resulting in a fatality or the hospitalization of 3

Summary

During this lesson, you have been

introduced to basic information about


employer responsibilities. We have covered:
Provide medical exams when required by
OSHA standards and provide workers
access to their exposure and medical
records.
Not discriminate against workers who
exercise their rights under the Act (Section
11(c)).
Post OSHA citations and abatement
verification notices.

Lesson 4
What do the OSHA
standards say?

Types of Standards
OSHA standards fall into four categories:

General Industry, Construction, Maritime, and


Agriculture.
OSHA issues standards for a wide variety of
workplace hazards
Toxic substances
Electrical hazards
Fall hazards
Hazardous waste
Machine hazards
Fire and explosion hazards
Dangerous atmospheres

General Duty Clause


In addition, as we

discussed previously,
where there are no
specific OSHA standards,
employers must comply
with the OSH Act's
"general duty clause."
The General Duty Clause,
Section 5(a)(1), requires
that each employer
"furnish ... a place of
employment which [is]
free from recognized
hazards that are causing
or are likely to cause
death or serious physical

Summary
During this lesson, you have been
introduced to basic information about the
OSHA Standards. We have covered:

Types of Standards
How the Standards are Organized

Lesson 5
How are OSHA
inspections conducted?

Inspection Priorities
Priority
Category of
Inspection:
1st
Imminent
Danger
2nd
-Fatality/Catastro
phe
3rd
Complaints/Refer
rals
4th

Inspection Category

First: Imminent
Danger has top
priority.

This is a condition

where there is
reasonable certainty a
danger exists that can
be expected to cause
death or serious
physical harm
immediately (or before
the danger can be
removed through
normal enforcement).

Second: Fatalities
and Catastrophist
are next in priority.
As we learned

earlier, employers
must report to OSHA
any worker fatality
or the hospitalization
of three or more
employees.

Inspection
Category
Third: Complaints and
referrals are OSHA's
third
priority.
A worker or worker
representative can file a
complaint about a safety
or health hazard in the
workplace.
Generally, it is necessary
for the complaint to be
written and signed for
OSHA to conduct an
inspection. In other
cases, OSHA may
contact the employer by
phone, email or fax.

Fourth: Programmed inspections


are the fourth priority.

These inspections

cover industries and


employers with high
injury and illness rates,
specific hazards, or
other exposures. There
may also be special
emphasis programs in
just one OSHA region
or certain area offices,
based on knowledge of
local industry hazards.

2. Opening

Stages of an InspectionThere are four major stages of an OSHA inspection: Presenting Credentials, the Opening Conference, the Walk around, and the Closing
Conference.

1. Presenting
Credentials:

Conference:

The CSHO finds out if

When arriving at the workplace, the

CSHO finds out who is in charge and


presents his or her credentials. An
employer can require OSHA to get a
warrant before an inspection is made.

workers are represented


and, if so, makes sure that
the worker representative
participates in all phases
of the inspection. If the
employer or worker
representative objects to a
joint conference, separate
conferences are held.

Stages of an Inspection

3. The Walk

around
After the opening

conference, the
CSHO, along with the
employer and worker
representatives,
proceed through the
workplace,
inspecting work
areas for potentially
hazardous working
conditions.

4. Closing
AfterConference
the walk around, the

CSHO holds a closing


conference with the
employer and the worker
representatives, either
jointly or separately. When
the employer does not want
to have a joint conference,
the CSHO will normally hold
the conference with the
worker representative first,
so that worker input is
received before employers
are informed of proposed

Violation Types and Penalties

WILLFUL VIOLATION- A

violation
that the
TYPES
employer intentionally
and knowingly commits
or a violation that the
employer commits with
plain indifference to the
law.
SERIOUS VIOLATION- A
violation where there is
substantial probability
that death or serious
physical harm could
result and that the
employer knew, or
should have known, of

PENALTIES

OSHA may propose penalties of up

to $70,000 for each willful violation,


with a minimum penalty of $5,000
for each willful violation.
There is a mandatory penalty for

serious violations which may be up


to $7,000.

Violation Types and


Penalties

A TYPES
violation that

has a direct
relationship to
safety and health,
but probably
would not cause
death or serious
physical harm.
A violation that is
the same or
similar to a
previous violation.

PENALTIES
OSHA may

propose a penalty
of up to $7,000
for each otherthan-serious
violation
OSHA may
propose penalties
of up to $70,000
for each repeated
violation.

Other Violations and


Penalties
Failure to Abate. OSHA may propose an

additional penalty of up to $7,000 for each


day. cited violation beyond the required date.
Falsifying Information. Under the OSH Act, an
employer providing false information to OSHA
can receive a fine of up to $10,000 or up to 6
months in jail, or both.
Violation of Posting. The employer has to post
citations and abatement verification for three
days or until the hazard is corrected. Failure to
follow these instructions can result in a penalty
of up to $7,000 for each violation.
OSHA may adjust a penalty downward
depending on the gravity of the violation,

Appeal Process
Employers and workers each have rights to

disagree with (or appeal) parts of an OSHA


citation. Workers and their representatives
may request an informal conference with
OSHA to discuss the inspection, citations,
penalties or a notice of contest (if filed by the
employer). Workers may also contest the
abatement time for any violation and an
employer's petition for modification of
abatement, (PMA) but they cannot contest
citations or penalties. If you, as a worker, plan
to contest an abatement time, you should
provide information to support your position.

Summary
During

this lesson, you have been introduced to


the basic information about the OSHA Standards.
We have covered:
Inspection Priorities
Stages of an Inspection
Citations and Penalties
Appeals Process

Lesson 6
Where can you go for
help?

Sources Within the Workplace


and Worksite

There are many resources available to you

if you want to find out more information


about a safety or health issue in your
workplace.

Sources Within the Workplace


and Worksite

Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for

information on chemicals
Labels and warning signs - Labels and signs
can show hazard information to workers and
can be useful in providing additional
information and making you aware of a
potential safety or health hazard.
Employee orientation manuals or other
training materials - Orientation manuals and
training materials about your job should
include information about how to work safely.
Work tasks and procedures instruction - A
written job or task instruction can provide

Other Resources
IOSH is OSHA's sister

agency, with a focus on


research and training.
NIOSH can be a great
resource for workers.
NIOSH also conducts
Health Hazard Evaluations
(HHEs) of workplaces in
cases where workers are
getting sick from an
unknown cause or are
exposed to an agent or
working condition that is
not regulated by OSHA. A
worker can request an HHE
if he or she is currently an

How to File an OSHA Complaint


If you, your co-workers and/or your union representative

determine that an OSHA inspection is needed to get


workplace hazards corrected, you have several options.
You can download the complaint form from OSHA's
website, complete it and mail or fax it to OSHA. A
written, signed complaint submitted to the OSHA area or
State Plan office is most likely to result in an onsite
inspection.
You can file a complaint online. However, most online
complaints are handled by OSHA's phone/fax system,
which means they are resolved informally over the
phone.
You can telephone or visit your local regional or area
office to discuss your concerns. After the discussion,
OSHA staff can give or send you a complaint form if you
wish to file.

Completing the Complaint Form


Be specific and include

appropriate details: The


information on the complaint
form may be the only
description of the hazard that
the inspector will see before
the inspection. The inspector
will base his or her research
and planning on this
information.
Establishment Name, Address,
& Type of Business: Be
thorough and specific. The
inspector's research on the
company and the industry's
hazards will be based on this

Completing the Complaint Form


Hazard Description/Location: The hazard

description is the most important part of the


form.
Has this condition been brought to the
attention of the employer or another
government agency? You should indicate on
the form if you have tried to get the
employer to fix the hazard before filing the
complaint.
Do NOT reveal my name: OSHA will keep
your name off the complaint, if you wish.
Signature and address: It is important to

Completing the complaint form


Site

Completing the complaint


form
Description

Completing the complaint form


Signature

Summary
During this course, you have been introduced
to basic information about your safety and
health at work. We have covered:
The importance of OSHA, including the history
of safety and health regulation leading to the
creation of OSHA and OSHA's mission
Worker rights under OSHA
Employer responsibilities
OSHA standards
OSHA inspections
Safety and health resources, including how to
file a complaint