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How OSHA Helps Keeps You Safe at Work

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, mostly commonly referred to as OSHA, is the federal agency charged with the task of assuring safe and healthy working conditions for employees across the country. The agency does this by creating and enforcing standards as well as providing training, outreach, education, and assistance to employers and employees.

What is OSHA

OSHA logoOSHA was established by Congress through the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 as a part of the United States Department of Labor. Their goal was to establish long-term solutions for ensuring the rights of workers and regulating work hazards. The agency is run by the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, who answers directly to the Secretary of Labor.

A relatively small agency, OSHA employs approximately 2,200 inspectors who are responsible for overseeing the health and safety of 130 million workers. Since this translates to very few inspectors for such a large workforce, states also have the option of developing OSHA-approved state-run programs dedicated to job safety and health. Twenty-two states and territories have, thus far, created such programs.

OSHA Coverage

The agency is primarily responsible for private sector employers and their workers, though certain public sector employers and workers also fall under their jurisdiction. The self-employed and employees of state or local governments, as well as workers in industries governed by separate federal agencies such as the Coast Guard, are not covered by OSHA.

OSHA coverage extends throughout the United States, including the District of Colombia, as well as the territories of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Wake Island, Johnston Island, and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands as defined by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

How OSHA Protects Workers

OSHA protects workers by setting the mandatory health and safety standards at many jobs, including construction work, hospital employment, maritime operations, and so forth.  In addition to creating these workplace standards, OSHA also carries out extensive training of employers so that they are properly educated in workplace health and safety.

It is also OSHA's responsibility to make sure their workplace health and safety standards are met by worksites. The agencies employees monitor and conduct inspections of work environments at over 8 million sites each year. If employers under their jurisdiction are found to be violating OSHA standards, they may be given fines or face other consequences for violating workers' rights.

What are Workers' Rights 

OSHA stipulates that all American workers have the right to a work environment that is safe and healthy. Any worker who feels their employer is violating these standards has the right to file a complaint with OSHA. In response to complaints, OSHA sends out an inspector to verify whether there is or isn't evidence of a breach in workplace health and safety.

The agency is also responsible for documenting workplace injuries. While employers are generally required to be the ones reporting any on-the-job injuries, if no such process is in place, workers may report to OSHA directly themselves. For the protection of employees who report injuries or hazardous work conditions, OSHA also mandates that employers cannot discriminate against anyone who files a complaint.

Workers' Compensation Law Firm Profiles


Meet Colorado Workers' Compensation, Personal Injury
and Insurance Dispute Attorney R. Mack Babcock

Prior to founding The Babcock Law Firm, LLC, R. Mack Babcock spent many years on the other side of workers' compensation, car accidents, personal injury and insurance disputes representing some of the largest insurance companies and corporations in Colorado as an attorney at a midsize insurance defense firm.

Babcock is a member of the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association and the Workers' Compensation Educational Association. In early 2008, he was elected as the Colorado House District 43 Committee Chairperson for the Douglas County Colorado Democratic Party.

In connection with this position, he is responsible for finding a candidate(s) to run for House District 43, overseeing the campaign(s), organizing volunteers, and also sits on the executive committee for the Douglas County Democratic Party.

Meet Atlanta's Top Workers' Compensation and Work Injury Attorneys

In 2018, two widely respected attorneys joined forces to establish Gerber & Holder Attorneys at Law, an Atlanta-based workers' compensation law firm dedicated to protecting injured workers in Georgia. Together, Ben Gerber and Thomas Holder bring an impressive resume of combined skills, knowledge, resources and experience to work for individuals suffering from a work-related accident such as back and neck injuries, spinal cord trauma, head and brain injuries, construction accidents, truck accidents and other catastrophic injuries.

Both attorneys have an impressive history of success in workers' compensation cases with over 50 years of combined experience practicing law in Georgia. Their accomplishments include recognitions from Super Lawyers, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, AV Martindale-Hubbell, Avvo, the Atlanta Bar Association, Knights of the Bar, the Lawyers' Foundation of Georgia and others. Ben Gerber also appeared as a guest on the radio show Atlanta Legal Experts. He's also an active member of the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claimant’s Lawyers (WCCL) board, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Atlanta Bar Association and the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation.