As an employee, you have the right to a safe and healthy workplace. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules and laws give residents of Oklahoma and across the United States the ability and rights to be fully informed about hazards in the workplace, especially if you are subjected to chemical exposure.
Here's what you should know about your rights under OSHA laws where toxins are present. Your rights include the right to:
- Be trained by your employer about how to protect yourself from chemicals you are exposed to throughout the course of your work day. Employers are required to communicate, in writing, detailed hazard information.
- Ask your employer about various hazards on the job, including chemical usage and radiation levels, and ask the procedure you should follow if you are exposed to any toxins on the job. Employers also must let you know when you begin your job where medical and exposure records are kept so you are aware of the job hazards.
- Watch as toxic materials and chemicals are monitored and measured.
- Ask your company to correct any hazards that are found, even if they aren't violating any specific OSHA standards.
- File an OSHA complaint if it is found OSHA standards have been violated or there are other serious workplace hazards present.
- Request an OSHA inspection and take part in it.
- Learn the results of the OSHA inspection.
- Take part in any hearings or meetings in which your employer will express objections to OSHA citations.
- File a complaint for discrimination if you believe you have been punished for questioning your rights or refusing to work if you fear an imminent danger on the job.
This list is just a sampling of your rights. If at any time you fear you are not being listened to when chemicals or other hazards are present and fear for your health and safety, consult with an experienced workers' compensation attorney to discuss your situation.