- Safety and Health Topics
Arsenic occurs naturally in the environment as an element of the earth's crust. Arsenic is combined with other elements such as oxygen, chlorine, and sulfur to form inorganic arsenic compounds. Exposure to higher-than-average levels of arsenic occurs mainly in workplaces, near or in hazardous waste sites, and areas with high levels naturally occurring in soil, rocks, and water. Exposure to high levels of arsenic can cause death. Exposure to arsenic at low levels for extended periods of time can cause a discoloration of the skin and the appearance of small corns or warts.
Workers have the right to:
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
- Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.
For additional information, see OSHA's Workers page.
How to Contact OSHA
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit www.osha.gov or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627.