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Some of Your Protected Rights Under the Federal OSH Act

Some of Your Protected Rights Under the Federal OSH Act

Under the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act and other federal laws, you have the right to: 

  1. Request an inspection by filing a complaint with OSHA (on request, OSHA will keep your identity secret from the employer);
  2. Request information from or complain about job health and safety hazards to: your employer, a labor union, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), or other government agency;
  3. Request and receive information from your employer about hazards you may be exposed to, including Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) for hazardous materials you work with;
  4. Request and receive information about precautions to take when working with potentially hazardous materials or equipment;
  5. Refuse an assignment that a “reasonable person” would see as creating “a real danger of death or serious injury,” when there is not enough time to file an OSHA complaint and when you have requested that your employer correct the condition, but it remains dangerous;
  6. Discuss health or safety matters with other workers;
  7. Request and receive results of air sampling, noise monitoring, or any other health and safety testing;
  8. Respond to questions from an OSHA inspector and point out hazards to the inspector, including telling the inspector about past accidents or illnesses and informing the inspector if your employer has temporarily eliminated hazards during the inspection;
  9. Request and receive information about procedures to be followed if you are involved in an accident or are exposed to toxic substances;
  10. Report an injury or illness to your employer – there must be a process that encourages reporting without fear of retaliation. Your state workers’ compensation laws also may have provisions to protect your right to file a claim without retaliation;
  11. Participate in union activities concerning health and safety matters;
  12. Talk privately with an OSHA inspector on a confidential basis; 
  13. Tell an inspector whether your employer has been notified of hazards and whether you have received training for hazardous work; and
  14. Have an employee representative accompany an OSHA inspector during an inspection.