- Safety and Health Topics
Ricin is a toxin that can be made from the waste left over from processing castor beans. It is one of the most toxic and easily produced plant toxins. If injected, as little as 500 micrograms of ricin could be enough to kill an adult; some animal research indicates that similar amounts could be lethal, if inhaled. A 500 microgram dose of ricin would be about the size of the head of a pin. Ricin has been used in the past as a bioterrorist weapon and remains a serious threat.
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 help 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.
- Evacuation Plans and Procedures. OSHA eTool. Assists businesses to implement an emergency action plan, and comply with OSHA's emergency standards.