Your Rights As A Worker: Understanding Osha Protections And Responsibilities

Organizations that protect the rights of their employees are more successful. These organizations can get the OSHA online courses to their employees via to give them safety training. A study conducted by Harvard Business Review concluded that when employees’ rights are protected, they are more engaged and have lower turnover rates.

When employees feel that they are being taken care of and treated well, they get more productive. Their productivity consequently increases the reputation of your organization in the market.

Another study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley suggests that employees have a positive impact on the workplace environment and society when their rights are protected.

Violating employee rights can get you in a lot of trouble, as some states have stringent policies to protect the rights of employees. When an organization shows negligence and violates the employee’s rights, they are likely to face serious consequences in the form of penalties and litigation.

Thus, it is very important that you learn how to protect your employees’ rights to create a healthy and productive working environment.

For example, in Washington, employees who are under 18 have the right to take rest and meal breaks. Washington states are also obliged to give paid sick leaves to their employees. If an employee’s rights are denied, they can complain about it.

OSHA Workers Rights:

This article covers all the rights OSHA provides to the employees.

OSHA, under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, gives workers their right to work in a safe and healthy workplace.

  • Right to a safe and healthy workplace:

OSHA has a General Duty Clause that specifically applies to employers. It is the responsibility of your organization to provide a hazard-free workplace for your employees.

  • Protection on Job:

OSHA directs employees to provide protection to employees by showing good compliance with the safety standards. These standards are specially designed based on your organization to protect the employees from injuries. OSHA standards apply to Construction, General Industry, Maritime, and Agriculture. A few examples are mentioned below:

  • Provide fall protection, such as a safety harness and lifeline.
  • Ensure the safety of workers who enter confined spaces such as manholes or grain bins.
  • Prevent exposure to high levels of noise that can damage hearing.
  • Put guards on machines.
  • Prevent exposure to harmful levels of substances like asbestos and lead.
  • Provide workers with respirators and other needed safety equipment (in almost all cases, free of charge).

If your organization adheres to the safety standards of OSHA, we guarantee that you will be able to protect the rights of your employees.

  • Right to be Provided Protective Equipment:

Ensuring the safety of employees is the responsibility of employers. They should complete online safety course like OSHA 30 Spanish They must provide them with safety equipment to protect themselves from accidents and injuries. It is essential as an employer that you give protective gear to employees that is free of cost. The protection kit must have all the basic equipment that is necessary, such as goggles, earplugs, and gloves.

  • Right to Information:

Being informed about work-related information is the right of employees. It is important that employers keep them informed about the organization’s environmental conditions. They must not mislead their employees by providing false information.

For example, if they are informed about the conditions of the workplace, they will be able to make better decisions. Cues in the form of warning signs, color coding, and signals should be given to workers if the work site is hazardous instead of leaving them uninformed.

  • Right to Get Copies of Workplace Injury and Illness Records

Organizations involved in high-risk operations must keep records of work-related injuries and illnesses. It is the employee’s right to get copies of this data. The record-keeping and giving access to workers help them prepare for potential damages to protect themselves from accidents and injuries. This data is also useful to inform workers about the most common work-related accidents so they can be extra careful while performing high-risk tasks.

Osha has made it mandatory for organizations to put up a summary report of the previous year’s injury and illness log. This is called the OSHA Form 300A. The summary is displayed publicly for all the workers to review.

  • Right to Exposure Data

Workers should know if there are any potential dangers in the workplace or if they are exposed to hazardous materials. Osha has ensured that organizations conduct exposure monitoring tests to keep the workers informed if they are exposed to any kind of threat. Workers have the right to view the results of these tests to make informed decisions.

For example, if workers know that a construction site is risky, they are more likely to wear their protective equipment.

  • Right to Your Medical Records

Workers have the right to know about their health conditions. As employers are exposed to various chemical compounds and high noise levels, it can lead to hearing loss and respiratory problems. Organizations must conduct medical tests for each of their employees and share the reports with them, too.

The medical reports of workers are confidential, and the worker’s representative needs to get permission from the worker to review their medical reports.

Sharing medical information with employees is critical because if a worker is diagnosed with a serious health condition, prompt medical attention will be given to reduce the risk of severe complications.

  • Right to File a Complaint with OSHA

Workers have the right to file a complaint against their organization with OSHA if their rights are violated. They can also inform OSHA if the organization doesn’t follow the safety guidelines and regulations that OSHA has set. Following the complaint, OSHA will conduct an inspection of the workplace without disclosing details about the employee who made the complaint. It is against the OSHA policy to fire, demote, transfer, and retaliate against the employee who reported to OSHA about unsafe workplace practices.

Complaints can be filed in the following ways:

  • Online: You can register the complaint online by going to the OSHA Complaint Form on their website.
  • Fax/Mail/Email: Workers can also download the complaint form from the website and fax or mail it to the nearest OSHA regional or area office.
  • Telephone: In case of an emergency, workers can register their complaint with OSHA by calling 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).

Whatever method you choose, just make sure you have specified the violation and provided all the relevant information regarding your complaint. The complaint form should be signed, and the submission date should be mentioned.


Osha has clearly defined the responsibilities and rights of both employers and employees to make the organization a better place. Ensuring the rights of the workers is beneficial for the organization as well. Employees feel treated fairly, which directly influences their performance and productivity. Thus, it is vital to protect workers’ rights under the OSHA Act.