Employer Responsibilities and Rights | OSHA

Employers have certain responsibilities and rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The checklists which follow provide a review of many of these. Employer responsibilities and rights in states with their own occupational safety and health programs are generally the same as in federal OSHA states.


As an employer, you must:

  • Meet your general duty responsibility to provide a workplace free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to employees, and comply with standards, rules and regulations issued under the Act.

  • Be familiar with mandatory OSHA standards and make copies available to employees for review upon request.

  • Inform all employees about OSHA.

  • Examine workplace conditions to make sure they conform to applicable standards.

  • Minimize or reduce hazards.

  • Make sure employees have and use safe tools and equipment (including appropriate personal protective equipment), and that such equipment is properly maintained.

  • Use color codes, posters, labels or signs when needed to warn employees of potential hazards.

  • Establish or update operating procedures and communicate them so that employees follow safety and health requirements.

  • Provide training required by OSHA standards (e.g., hazard communication, lead, etc.).

  • Provide medical examinations when required by OSHA standards.

  • Report to the nearest OSHA office within 8 hours any fatal accident or one which results in the hospitalization of three or more employees.

  • Keep OSHA-required records of work-related injuries and illnesses, and post a copy of the totals from the last page of the OSHA 300 on the OSHA 300A Summary and post it from February 1 through April 30.(This applies to employers with 11 or more employees.)

  • Post, at a prominent location within the workplace, the OSHA poster (OSHA 2203 or OSHA 3165) informing employees of their rights and responsibilities. (In states operating OSHA-approved job safety and health programs, you may post your state's equivalent poster.)

  • Provide employees, former employees and their representatives access to the Log and Summary of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA 200 or OSHA 300/300A) at a reasonable time and in a reasonable manner.

  • Provide access to employee medical records and exposure records to employees or their authorized representatives.

  • Cooperate with the OSHA compliance officer by furnishing names of authorized employee representatives who may be asked to accompany the compliance officer during an inspection. (If none, the compliance officer will consult with a reasonable number of employees concerning safety and health in the workplace.)

  • Not discriminate against employees who properly exercise their rights under the Act.

  • Post OSHA citations at or near the worksite involved. Each citation, or copy thereof, must remain posted until the violation has been abated, or for three working days, whichever is longer.

  • Abate cited violations within the prescribed period.


As an employer, you have the right to:

  • Seek advice and off-site consultation as needed by writing, calling or visiting the nearest OSHA Office. (OSHA will not inspect merely because an employer requests assistance.)

  • Be active in your industry association's involvement in job safety and health.

  • Request and receive proper identification of the OSHA compliance officer prior to inspection.

  • Be advised by the compliance officer of the reason for an inspection.

  • Have an opening and closing conference with the compliance officer.

  • Accompany the compliance officer on the inspection.

  • File a Notice of Contest with the OSHA area director within 15 working days of receipt of a notice of citation and proposed penalty.

  • Apply to OSHA for a temporary variance from a standard if unable to comply because of the unavailability of materials, equipment or personnel needed to make necessary changes within the required time.

  • Apply to OSHA for a permanent variance from a standard if you can furnish proof that your facilities or method of operation provide employee protection at least as effective as that required by the standard.

  • Take an active role in developing safety and health standards through participation in OSHA Standards Advisory Committees, through nationally recognized standards-setting organizations and through evidence and views presented in writing or at hearings.

  • Be assured of the confidentiality of any trade secrets observed by an OSHA compliance officer during an inspection.

  • Submit a written request to NIOSH for information on whether any substance in your workplace has potentially toxic effects in the concentrations being used.

1 comment:

john said...

If I were an employer, I would take that responsibility to ensure workers have OSHA training such as the 30 hour osha training or the osha 10 training. Even though not all States requires this certification, a lot of companies still likes their workers certified as this helps ensure that you have the cream of the crop for your man power. If people are properly educated with their roles, they will be more productive and knowledge in a workplace definitely avoids a lot of accidents.

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