Workplace Health and Safety FAQs at Merrick Law Firm LLC

Navigating the complexities of health and safety in the workplace can be daunting. At Merrick Law Firm LLC, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help guide you in understanding your rights and responsibilities to maintain a safe work environment.

Both federal and state legislation safeguard your well-being on the job. The cornerstone of federal protection is the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (also known as the OSH Act — 29 U.S.C. § 651 onwards). It ensures you have rights that can be exercised if you feel your workplace is unsafe.

State regulations generally mirror federal law, though specifics can vary. For detailed information on safety laws in your state, the state labor department is the go-to resource.

How Does the OSH Act, Enforced by OSHA, Empower Me as an Employee?

The OSH Act, primarily imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), provides a shield against immediate life-threatening conditions, allowing you the option to decline work in such unsafe scenarios.

Beyond imminent dangers, the OSH Act establishes numerous key rights:

  • Mandatory health and safety training pertaining to applicable standards must be provided by employers.
  • Employers must train you on handling and securing yourself against hazardous chemicals you might encounter at work.
  • Employers are also responsible for educating you on other possible occupational hazards.
  • You are entitled to request information regarding workplace safety standards, employee illness and injury records, potential job risks, and employee safeguards.
  • Employers can be directly requested to rectify any present hazards or violations of the OSH Act.
  • Filing of complaints with OSHA is a right you hold.
  • Workplace inspections by OSHA can be requested, and you have the right to be informed about their results.
  • Should your employer penalize you for exercising your rights, you can lodge a complaint with OSHA.
  • The federal government can be asked to investigate potential workplace dangers.

Please visit for more information or to find contact details for your local OSHA office.

What Actions Should I Undertake if I Experience an Injury at Work?

Following any necessary medical attention, if your injury results from a hazard that remains a threat, promptly:

  • File for workers’ compensation to cover medical expenses and compensate for lost wages/injury. Note that compensation amounts may increase if the injury is due to a violation of state workplace safety laws.
  • Inform your employer of the persistent risk.
  • If the hazard isn’t resolved swiftly, approach OSHA or other relevant agencies for assistance. Engaging with specialized groups in your locality that have addressed similar issues may be beneficial.
  • For immediate life-threatening situations, contact OSHA’s emergency line: 800-321-OSHA (6742).

Is There OSHA Protection Concerning Workplace Exposure to Tobacco Smoke?

OSHA intervenes with tobacco smoke-related complaints under extreme circumstances. An example might be if the interaction between industrial processes and tobacco smoke creates a hazardous atmosphere. As workplace air quality assessments are quite technical, usually, only OSHA personnel or specialized environmental testers can establish violations of air quality standards.

The content shared here is meant to provide general information and should not be considered as legal counsel. Due to the evolving nature of laws, Merrick Law Firm LLC encourages you to seek direct legal advice for questions pertinent to your particular situation.

Connect with us at Merrick Law Firm LLC by calling (312) 269-0200 for any inquiries, or if you require legal assistance tailored to your circumstances.

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