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What are employers required to do to prevent workplace accidents?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was designed to uphold various laws and regulations for the workplace. These regulations help keep workplaces safer, so you have a lower risk of being hurt on the job. Employers in particular have a responsibility to uphold the regulations and laws given to them by OSHA.

Employers have a responsibility to provide you with a workplace that is safe. That means that the workplace needs to either be free from hazards or that hazards that are necessary are properly marked, monitored and educated on. Employees must be made to use safety equipment, safe tools and know how to maintain the equipment; if the employees aren't going to maintain the equipment, then it's the employer's responsibility to do so.

When required by OSHA, employers have to provide employees with proper medical exams and training to meet with OSHA standards. Safety training must also be in the language of the workers on site, which may mean having them in several languages in bi- or tri-lingual workplaces. These training notes and safety requirements must also be posted in the workplace, so all workers know where to look if there's a problem or question about regulations.

When an accident does take place, it's important that the person who was injured gets medical attention quickly. The event needs to be reported quickly to the nearest OSHA office, so the incident can be investigated. For workplace deaths, the report needs to be filed within eight hours. For all other injuries, the report needs to be made within 24 hours, so the situation can be investigated by a team from OSHA.

Source: United States Department of Labor, "Employer Responsibilities," accessed April. 07, 2015

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