Workplace Safety Law
Guide to workplace safety law and working environment regulations
The leading authority administering workplace safety is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). OSHA requires the Secretary of Labor to propagate regulations and safety and health standards to protect employees from having to work in dangerous or hazardous conditions. Every private employer who engages in interstate commerce is subject to OSHA regulations. Standards made by OSHA are published in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).
The federal guidelines imposed by OSHA are complemented by state regulations, although federal laws and regulations pre-empt state laws where they overlap or contradict one another. Under OSHA, states can pass their own workplace health and safety laws and standards, but they must meet OSHA criteria and approval if they regulate an area directly covered by OSHA regulations. Though, they may regulate in areas not governed by federal OSHA regulations. The amount of state regulation varies greatly. States with their own workplace conditions law are called “state plan states”.
Penalties for OSHA violations can be civil or criminal and vary depending on the nature of the violation. OSHA must refer cases to the U.S. Justice Department for criminal enforcement. Typically, however, OSHA relies on civil penalties as a deterrent to violators.
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Workplace Safety - US
- ABA - Occupational Safety and Health Law
This committee follows developments under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act, as well as various state plans through which occupational safety and health laws and regulations are enforced. As of February 2007, the committee had 339 members, representing 43 of the 50 states (and three Canadian provinces).
- Occupational Safety and Health - Definition
Occupational safety and health is a cross-disciplinary area concerned with protecting the safety, health and welfare of people engaged in work or employment. As a secondary effect, it may also protect co-workers, family members, employers, customers, suppliers, nearby communities, and other members of the public who are impacted by the workplace environment.
- Occupational Safety And Health - Overview
The Congress finds that personal injuries and illnesses arising out of work situations impose a substantial burden upon, and are a hindrance to, interstate commerce in terms of lost production, wage loss, medical expenses, and disability compensation payments.
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act)
Each employer: (1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees; (2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act.
- Safety in the Workplace
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), companies are required to provide a safe workplace for their employees. Employees who are concerned about an unsafe condition may file a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which will conduct an investigation and fine a company for any violations it finds.
- Workplace Safety Law
Workplace safety and health laws establish regulations designed to eliminate personal injuries and illnesses from occurring in the workplace. The laws consist primarily of federal and state statutes. Federal laws and regulations preempt state ones where they overlap or contradict one another.
Workplace Safety - Europe
- Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV)
The Mandate of the Bureau for Workers' Activities is to strengthen representative, independent and democratic trade unions in all countries, to enable them to play their role effectively in protecting workers' rights and interests and in providing effective services to their members at national and international levels, and to promote the ratification and implementation of ILO Conventions.
- Eurofound, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions
Eurofound, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, is a European Union body, one of the first to be established to work in specialised areas of EU policy. Specifically, it was set up by the European Council (Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1365/75 of 26 May 1975), to contribute to the planning and design of better living and working conditions in Europe.
- European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
Workers and employers need to be made aware of the risks that they face, and how to manage them. But health and safety bodies in the individual EU Member States cannot do this alone. That is why the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work was set up, in 1996.
- European Public Health Alliance
EPHA is an international non-profit association registered in Belgium. Our membership is composed of not-for-profit organisations working on all aspects of public health. EPHA’s mission is to promote and protect the health of all people living in Europe and to advocate for greater participation of citizens in health-related policy making at the European level.
- Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) acts as the United Kingdom (UK) Focal Point of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. The European Agency's National Focal Points are normally the competent national authorities nominated by each country's government and are the Agency's official representative in the Member State.
Workplace Safety - International
- International Labour Organization (ILO)
The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the tripartite UN agency that brings together governments, employers and workers of its member states in common action to promote decent work throughout the world
- International Occupational Hygiene Association
IOHA represents the global community of occupational hygienists. The International Occupational Hygiene Association (IOHA) is an association of occupational hygiene organisations from across the world. All of these are dedicated to the discipline and application of the inherent principles of occupational hygiene.
- Workplace Health and Public Safety Programme (WHPSP) - Canada
WHPSP is responsible for helping Canadian private and public sector employers maintain and improve the health of their workers by providing leadership and policy development in the areas that affect workplace health. A major component of WHPSP's portfolio is the Public Service Health Programme. WHPSP is the principal occupational health and safety advisor to the Treasury Board Secretariat and provides a wide range of occupational health services to federal employees.
Organizations Related to Workplace Safety
- Institution of Occupational Safety and Health - Europe
IOSH is Europe's leading body for health and safety professionals, with nearly 33,000 members worldwide, including 13,000 Chartered Safety and Health Practitioners. The Institution was founded in 1945 and is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that sets professional standards, supports and develops members and provides authoritative advice and guidance on health and safety issues. IOSH is formally recognised by the ILO as an international non-governmental organisation.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the Department of Health and Human Services.
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health.
- Programme on Safety and Health at Work
Based on the principle that Decent Work must be Safe Work, SafeWork aims to create worldwide awareness of the dimensions and consequences of work-related accidents and diseases; to place occupational safety and health (OSH) on the international and national agendas; and to provide support to the national efforts for the improvement of national OSH systems and programmes in line with relevant international labour standards.
- US - EU Cooperation on Workplace Safety and Health
This is a project of the US DOL, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the EU European Agency for Health and Safety at Work (EU Agency). The goal is to promote sharing of information on current safety and health topics of common interest.
Articles on HG.org Related to Workplace Safety Law
- Insurers Balk At The Prevalence of Narcotics In The Workers’ Comp SystemThe prevalence of narcotic prescriptions in the workers’ compensation system is receiving a lot of attention currently because insurers are becoming uncomfortable with assuming the cost of these prescriptions when it comes to long term use.
- Bus Driver’s Injuries Are Compensable Though the Injury Occurred At HomeA New Jersey Bus Driver was awarded workers’ compensation by a judge after her claim for benefits after experiencing an accident where she tripped and fell, breaking her foot, was initially denied.
- Tyson Foods Inc. to Pay $4 Million Penalty after Toxic Chemical ReleasesTyson Foods Inc. has been penalized in the amount of $4 million after harmful chemicals were accidentally released in different facilities in four states. Due to the chemical exposure several employees were injured and one died. Additionally, risk management practices will need to be reevaluated.
- Falls Are Usually FunnyPeople often make light of accidental falls, including Hollywood artists (e.g., Chevy Chase, Jerry Lewis and Dick van Dyke) who have made a living out of making people laugh about falling down.
- Money-Motivated Oil Rig Employers Sacrifice SafetyMoney is a major motivating factor to many of the workers who are flocking to North Dakota, the fastest growing state in the nation, to work in the oil fields. Some oil rig employers are sacrificing the safety of their workers in order to make money.
- Workers Compensation: Shoulder InjuriesInsurance companies will often deny benefits. They dispute shoulder injuries by blaming your problems on arthritis or that the injury did not result from a work related incident.
- The Three Main Causes of Construction AccidentsMost construction accidents are caused by one of three main reasons. Generally, a failure in training or a poor decision.
- OSHA Safety Standards for Vessels: Ship Fire SafetyThere are OSHA safety standards for vessels that employers must enforce to ensure ship fire safety. Violating standards could result in a Jones Act maritime claim.
- Maritime Lawsuits Resulting from Slips, Trips and FallsMaritime lawsuits can result from seamen being injured by slips, trips and falls while on the job.
- Alabama Premises Liability Claims: Claims Not Requiring Prima Facie Proof of NoticeThis article discusses Alabama premises liability law, and explains that Alabama distinguishes between various premises liability cases. Specifically, this article discusses how plaintiffs bringing claims alleging a defective premises or a hazardous premises created by an employee are not required to make a prima facie showing of a premises owner's knowledge of the defect.
- All Employment and Labor Law Articles
Articles written by attorneys and experts worldwide discussing legal aspects related to Employment and Labor including: discrimination, employee benefits, employees rights, ERISA, human resources law, labor relations, outsourcing, sexual harassment, whistleblower, workers compensation and wrongful termination.