Health & Safety

VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE

A HANDBOOK FOR PREVENTION AND RESPONSE

From the handbook:  “Exclusive Recognized Union: Works with management in support of safe working conditions for unit members.  Perhaps an underutilized resource for helping prevent or deescalate employee grievances which can snowball into workplace violence.

Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP)
Physical and Stress Related Injury Compensation Guidance

 

OWCP/Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation Forms

 

 

FAQ: Filing a Claim For a Work Injury

 

 

OSHA Petitioned to limit hours of work

 

 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

The highest authority in workplace safety.

Workers’ rights under the OSH Act
Workers are entitled to working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm. To help assure a safe and healthful workplace, OSHA also provides workers with the right to:
 
  • Ask OSHA to inspect their workplace;
  • Use their rights under the law without retaliation and discrimination;
  • Receive information and training about hazards, methods to prevent harm, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace. The training must be in a language you can understand;
  • Get copies of test results done to find hazards in the workplace;
  • Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses;
  • Get copies of their medical records;
 
Employer Responsibilities
Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe workplace. Employers MUST provide their employees with a workplace that does not have serious hazards and follow all relevant OSHA safety and health standards. Employers must find and correct safety and health problems.OSHA further requires employers to try to eliminate or reduce hazards first by making changes in working conditions rather than just relying on masks, gloves, ear plugs or other types of personal protective equipment (PPE). Switching to safer chemicals, enclosing processes to trap harmful fumes, or using ventilation systems to clean the air are examples of effective ways to get rid of or minimize risks.
 
Employers MUST also:
 
  • Inform employees about hazards through training, labels, alarms, color-coded systems, chemical information sheets and other methods.
  • Keep accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
  • Perform tests in the workplace, such as air sampling required by some OSHA standards.
  • Provide hearing exams or other medical tests required by OSHA standards.
  • Post OSHA citations, injury and illness data, and the OSHA poster in the workplace where workers will see them.
  • Notify OSHA within 8 hours of a workplace incident in which there is a death or when three or more workers go to a hospital.
  • Not discriminate or retaliate against a worker for using their rights under the law.
 
Federal Government Workers
Federal agencies must have a safety and health program that meet the same standards as private employers.Although OSHA does not fine federal agencies, it does monitor federal agencies and responds to workers’ complaints.

The OSHA General Duty Clause

 
 
29 U.S.C. § 654, 5(a)1: Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.”
 
29 U.S.C. § 654, 5(a)2: Each employer shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this act.
 
29 U.S.C. § 654, 5(b): Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.
 
Workplace Hazards and Your Contract 
The highest authority in workplace safety.