Every type of work involves some degree of hazard and each such hazard produces its share of injuries. Adequate attention to safety reduces and eliminates almost all workplace injuries which would otherwise occur regardless of the industry, the type of operation, or the occupation in question.
The Williams-Steiger Occupation and Health Act of 1970 states that employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace. Resultantly, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) mission has become "to assure safe and healthful workplaces by setting and enforcing standards, and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance."
Employers are required to meet applicable OSHA standards as well as safety and health standards mandated by their individual state. Employers are required to keep their workplace free of serious recognized hazards as stated in the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act. Therefore, it is top management’s responsibility to apply as much time and attention to safety as to any other important company undertaking, if the elimination of preventable accidents is to be reached and maintained.
A basic requirement of each employer is to post and keep posted a “notice” furnished by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, informing employees of the protections and obligations provided for in the Act. The labor law poster
contains information about the nearest office of the Department of Labor and how to obtain copies of the Act and specific safety and health standards.
Displaying a single labor law poster is insufficient. Labor law notices must be posted by the employer in each establishment in a conspicuous place, or places, where notices to employees are customarily posted. Similarly, these posters must be conspicuously displayed in a central, commonly-frequented employee office/meeting area to accommodate those employees that work in field-related industries or are assigned to a worksite away from the main company office. Each employer must also take steps to insure that such posters are not altered, defaced, or covered by other material. It is not necessary for employers to replace previous versions of the poster.
The OSHA labor law poster informing workers of their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act is available for free from OSHA. If you are in a state with an OSHA-approved state plan, there may be a state version of the OSHA poster.
The employer may post reproductions or facsimiles of the OSHA labor law posters providing they comply with posting requirements stated in the 29 CFR 1903.2 found on OSHA’s website. OSHA requires that reproductions or facsimiles of the poster be at least 8.5" x 14" inches with 10 point type, and the poster is also available in Spanish, Polish, and Portuguese.
Compliance is essential. Compliance Safety and Health Officers of the Department of Labor are authorized to inspect factories, plants, establishments, construction sites, or any workplace during regular work hours, and within reasonable limits and in a reasonable manner. All pertinent conditions, structures, machines, apparatus, devices, equipment and materials may be inspected. CS&H officers can question any employer, owner, operator, agent or employee and review safety and operation records. Employers failing to comply with the OSHA requirements and provisions are subject to citation and penalty in accordance with the provisions of the Act.