The Occupational Safety and Health Act is a federal law that works to protect employees in Michigan and across the country. Some states have taken additional measures to create their own laws to address workplace safety that may not apply everywhere. Still, employers with even just one employee must comply with the federal law, and if violations occur, workers should feel safe to report it.
Employers have various obligations under OSHA to help their employees stay as safe as possible on the job. For example, employers have to display an OSHA-compliant poster in the workplace so that workers receive basic information regarding the law and their rights. Providing this information could prove useful to employees who suspect that necessary safety precautions are not being taken.
Additionally, employers must adequately warn workers of various hazards, including when they work with hazardous materials, and must provide training on how to handle those materials as well as how to address other potential hazards that could arise. Employers also have the obligation of providing personal protective equipment to workers to prevent unnecessary exposure to health and safety risks in the workplace. If employers do not provide proper training, safety equipment, or warnings or do not take other precautions in accordance with the law, serious illness or injury could befall workers.
In the event that Michigan workers believe that their employers are not complying with federal or state workplace safety laws, they may want to file a report or complaint about the violations. Filing a complaint is a right that workers have, and employers should not retaliate against those workers for bringing their concerns to the attention of necessary parties. If employees do face retaliation as a result of their complaints, they may want to remember that they have legal options for addressing that type of wrongdoing.