Overview: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the division of the Department of Labor in charge of creating and enforcing workplace safety and health. With limited exceptions, OSHA regulates almost all private industry workers in states that do not have their own, OSHA-approved state plan.
OSHA creates regulations for several specific industries, as well as general regulations for all industries; it conducts inspections of workplaces to make sure employers are complying with applicable standards; and it issues citations for violations. To make compliance easier, OSHA also offers many compliance programs to help employers create safer workplaces and to encourage and recognize the workplaces that go above and beyond, as well as to put extra pressure on those workplaces that consistently fail to follow the regulations.
Along with the health and safety regulations, OSHA also has several recordkeeping and posting requirements that almost all regulated employers must follow. Most employers that fall under OSHA must fill out the OSHA logs every year, as well as post a total injury and illness record in a conspicuous place every year from February 1 to April 30. At all times, employers must have the OSHA Job Safety and Health: It's the Law poster hanging in the workplace.
Trends: OSHA recently updated its Hazard Communication Standard to better conform to the Globally Harmonized System. With a series of rolling deadlines, employers need to update their written programs, training requirements, safety data sheets and labels and warnings.
Author: Ashley Shaw, JD, Legal Editor
CR Bard Inc., a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical and medical products manufacturer, has agreed to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit with the US Department of Justice for $48.3 million, with over $10 million of the settlement going to the former employee whistleblower who initially filed the court claim.
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in a case that could extend Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) whistleblower protections to employees of private companies that contract with public companies.
Alaska Emergency Information Poster is mandated by the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
The Washington Job Safety and Health Law poster, mandated by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries, must be posted where workers can see it.
In Rockwell International Corp. v. United States, 549 U.S. 457 (2007), the US Supreme Court addressed whether a former employee whistleblower of a government contractor was an original source of information.
The New Hampshire Whistleblowers' Protection Act poster, mandated by the New Hampshire Department of Labor, is required by all employers.
The Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health on the Job poster, mandated by the Kentucky Department of Labor, is required by all employers.
As mandated by the Georgia Department of Labor, all employers must post the Georgia Public Employee Hazardous Chemical Protection Notice.
The Iowa Safety and Health Protection on the Job, mandated by the Iowa Workforce Development, is required by all employers.
The Iowa Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses poster, mandated by the Iowa Workforce Development, is required by all employers in high rate industries having more than 10 workers.
HR guidance on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
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