The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was established in 1970 under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The administration is intended to create specific guidelines in order to maintain safety throughout the workplace. OSHA protects employees from being exposed to dangerous chemicals and hazardous work environments. Additionally, OSHA provides training and education to employees in order to enforce general safety standards across the country.
Dealing with an OSHA complaint?
If your small business is being examined by OSHA due to a complaint made by either an employee or an employee’s representative, it is important to contact a compliance lawyer to receive the proper representation during the investigation. The employee that made a written request for an on-site inspection can remain anonymous. According to the United States Department of Labor, one of the following eight criteria must be met in order to receive an OSHA inspection:
- A written, signed complaint by a current employee or employee representative with enough detail to enable OSHA to determine that a violation or danger likely exists that threatens physical harm or that an imminent danger exists;
- An allegation that physical harm has occurred as a result of the hazard and that it still exists;
- A report of an imminent danger;
- A complaint about a company in an industry covered by one of OSHA’s local or national emphasis programs or a hazard targeted by one of these programs;
- Inadequate response from an employer who has received information on the hazard through a phone/fax investigation;
- A complaint against an employer with a past history of egregious, willful or failure-to-abate OSHA citations within the past three years;
- Referral from a whistle blower investigator; or
- Complaint at a facility scheduled for or already undergoing an OSHA inspection.
How to keep up with OSHA standards?
Remember that safety of employees is very important and constantly keep employees informed of what is going on in the workplace. Hold meetings that discuss the importance of safety and what your small business is doing in order to protect the health of your workers.
If OSHA does receive a complaint and initiates an inspection at your small business, be sure to contact an experienced attorney.
Call JacksonWhite’s Small Business Law Team at (480) 464-1111 to discuss your case today.