What actions does Maryland take to encourage workplace safety?
The Maryland Division of Labor and Industry is the state agency tasked with enforcing workplace safety throughout the state. The DLI receives its mandate through a 1973 law entitled Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Act. Currently, just about every employer that is actively performing some manner of business, trade, commercial or industrial activity in the state of Maryland is required to comply with the MOSH act. The only exceptions are some workplaces that are already covered under federal regulations, such as industrial mineworkers or those who work in the field of nuclear energy.
MOSH establishes health and safety requirements for workplaces throughout the state and then inspects those workplaces to ensure that they are in compliance with the rules. MOSH basically adheres to the federal occupational safety and health guidelines with only a few exceptions. Because of this adoption of similar standards, Maryland workers enjoy many of the same safety protections as their federally employed counterparts.
MOSH also has substantial enforcement power. MOSH inspectors will typically look over a workplace and cite any violations of health and safety law that they discover. The inspectors will then speak with the employer regarding the violation and attempt to find a corrective measure to abate the condition within a specific period of time. Once a citation has been issued, a copy of that document is required to be posted near the site of the violation for a period of three working days or until the condition has been remedied.
The employer can then challenge the validity of the citation with the Department of Labor and Industry or ask for an informal meeting to obtain greater clarity on the specifics of the violation. However, employers who have been cited should know that all citation challenges are handled by the attorney general's office.
Maryland workers should know that the state places a heavy emphasis on making sure employers take proactive steps to ensure workplace safety and promote worker's health. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, your Maryland workers compensation attorney can assist you with ensuring that you receive appropriate compensation and medical benefits.