Under the OSH law, employers have a responsibility to provide a safe workplace. This is a short summary of key employer responsibilities:
- Provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and comply with
standards, rules and regulations issued under the OSH Act.
- Examine workplace conditions to make sure they conform to applicable OSHA
- Make sure employees have and use safe tools and equipment and properly
maintain this equipment.
- Use color codes, posters, labels or signs to warn employees of potential
- Establish or update operating procedures and communicate them so that
employees follow safety and health requirements.
- Employers must provide safety training in a language and vocabulary workers
- Employers with hazardous chemicals in the workplace must develop and implement
a written hazard communication program and train employees on the hazards
they are exposed to and proper precautions (and a copy of safety data sheets
must be readily available). See the OSHA page on Hazard Communication.
- Provide medical examinations and training when required by OSHA
- Post, at a prominent location within the workplace, the OSHA
poster (or the state-plan equivalent) informing employees of their rights
- Report to the nearest OSHA office within 8 hours any fatal accident or
one that results in the hospitalization of three or more employees. Call
our toll-free number: 1-800-321-OSHA (6742); TTY 1-877-889-5627
records of work-related injuries and illnesses. (Note: Employers with
10 or fewer employees and employers in certain low-hazard industries are
exempt from this requirement.)
- Provide employees, former employees and their representatives access to
the Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA
Form 300). On February 1, and for three months, covered employers must
post the summary of the OSHA log of injuries and illnesses (OSHA
access to employee medical records and exposure records to employees
or their authorized representatives.
- Provide to the OSHA compliance officer the names of authorized employee
representatives who may be asked to accompany the compliance officer during
- Not discriminate against employees who exercise their rights under the
Act. See our "Whistleblower
- Post OSHA citations at or near the work area involved. Each citation must
remain posted until the violation has been corrected, or for three working
days, whichever is longer. Post abatement verification documents or tags.
- Correct cited violations by the deadline set in the OSHA citation and
submit required abatement verification documentation.
- OSHA encourages all employers to adopt an Injury and Illness Prevention Program. Injury and Illness Prevention Programs, known by a variety of names, are universal interventions that can substantially reduce the number and severity of workplace injuries and alleviate the associated financial burdens on U.S. workplaces. Many states have requirements or voluntary guidelines for workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Programs. Also, numerous employers in the United States already manage safety using Injury and Illness Prevention Programs, and we believe that all employers can and should do the same. Most successful Injury and Illness Prevention Programs are based on a common set of key elements. These include: management leadership, worker participation, hazard identification, hazard prevention and control, education and training, and program evaluation and improvement. OSHA’s Injury and Illness Prevention Programs topics page contains more information including examples of programs and systems that have reduced workplace injuries and illnesses.
- For more information, refer to the following online publications and resources.
All About OSHA*
Top Ten OSHA Standards Cited
- For more information, see OSHA's
* Accessibility Assistance: Contact OSHA's Office of Communications at 202-693-1999 for assistance accessing PDF materials.