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Your OSHA Rights in a Nutshell

Right to a Safe and Healthy Workplace

You have a right to work in a workplace that does not make you hurt or sick. OSHA(the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requires employers to provide a workplace that is free of recognized hazards.

Right to information

You have a right to ask for and get information from your employer about:

  • chemicals used at work
  • injuries and illnesses that happened at work to co-workers or past employees
  • your medical records
  • tests your employer has done to measure chemical, noise, and radiation levels

Right to Know about Chemical Hazards

Your employer is required to make sure you have full information about the chemical hazards in your work area before you are exposed to any of them. This includes:

  • having available Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) on all chemicals you work with or are exposed to
  • ensuring the proper labels are on all hazardous chemicals
  • training you about the health effects of the chemicals you work with, and ways you can protect yourself.

Right Not to be Discriminated Against for Health and Safety Activity

You have a right to demand a safe workplace without fear of punishment. You should not be transferred, denied a pay raise, have your hours reduced or be fired as a result of health and safety action. (See our whistleblower factsheet for more information.

Right to Health and Safety Training

Your employer is required to provide training on safety and health hazards at your workplace. Examples of topics include how to safely handle chemicals and lockout/tagout procedures for
when you use machinery.

Right to File an OSHA Complaint

You have a right to file a complaint with OSHA if you think your workplace is unsafe. You can file a complaint either in writing or by telephone. If you want OSHA to come and make an inspection of your workplace, put your complaint in writing and send it to the OSHA office nearest you. Call 1-800-321 -OSHA to get the location of the nearest OSHA office. (See How To File A Complaint With OSHA for more information.

Right to an OSHA Inspection

You have the right to an OSHA inspection of your workplace. Request an inspection by writing the OSHA office nearest you. You can make the inspection most effective by participating in the inspection process. (See The OSHA Inspection for more details.)

For more Information, contact:

  • Your local COSH group (for a list see our List of COSH Groups)
  • Your local union, if you are a member
  • OSHA. For the OSHA office nearest you, call 1-800-321-OSHA.