These include extremely high noise levels, poisonous and hazardous chemicals, cold or heat stress, mechanical hazards and unhygienic conditions. The parameters of the Act ensured reduction in the number of workplace deaths, faulty products, job related hazards, illnesses and other workplace calamities. Through the enactment of this Act, benefits such as reduced training expenditure, higher productivity and lesser overtime costs have been accrued for employers.
OSHA makes use of several mechanisms to support employers and employees realize the objectives. These mechanisms largely include enforcement of OSHA regulations, support in terms of training and outreach to employees and employers and co-operation through alliances and partnerships from voluntary programs. Workplace health and safety is encouraged and enforced by the OSHA Act by executing enhanced safety and health management systems and setting up distinctive rights and responsibilities of both employees and employers. Further, OSHA completes worksite inspections and companies failing to comply with OSHA regulations are fined. Also, OSHA insists on recordkeeping and reporting specifications for employers.
OSHA partners with states running their own occupational safety and health programs and creates training programs for health and safety personnel. Innovation in handling workplace hazards are welcomed by the act. The Act encompasses private sector employers/employees from 50 states in the country. It also includes Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Johnston Island, the Virgin Islands, Guam, Wake Island, Outer Continental Shelf Islands and Northern Mariana Islands. Basically, the Act includes employees and employers either through Federal OSHA directly or by means of an OSHA approved state program.
Fundamentally, OSHA standards or regulations necessitate employers to
- Employ practices necessary and suitable to protect workers on their jobs.
- Acclimatize and adhere to standards as per their establishment regulations.
- Maintain and use protective equipment and gear during hazardous processes and procedures.
Employers must ensure that their establishment conforms to specific responsibilities and some of these include: ensuring workplace is free from identified hazards, regular monitoring of workplace conditions, using posters, labels and signs to determine employee hazards, offering medical examinations and training procedures, installing OSHA poster to educate employees of their rights and responsibilities at prominent places in the premises and reporting fatal accidents involving three or more employees within eight hours.