The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (29 U.S.C. 651, et seq.), hereinafter referred to as the
Act, is a Federal statute of general application designed to regulate employment conditions relating to occupational safety and health and to achieve
safer and healthier workplaces throughout the Nation. By terms of the Act, every person engaged in a business affecting commerce who has employees is
required to furnish each of his employees employment and a place of employment free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death
or serious physical harm, and, further, to comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under the Act. See Part 1975 of this
chapter concerning coverage of the Act.
The Act provides, among other things, for the adoption of occupational safety and health standards,
research and development activities, inspections, and investigations of workplaces, and recordkeeping requirements. Enforcement procedures initiated
by the Department of Labor, review proceedings before an independent quasi-judicial agency (the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission), and
express judicial review are provided by the Act. In addition, States which desire to assume responsibility for development and enforcement of
standards which are at least as effective as the Federal standards published in this chapter may submit plans for such development and enforcement of
the Secretary of Labor.
Employees and representatives of employees are afforded a wide range of substantive and procedural
rights under the Act. moreover, effective implementation of the Act and achievement of its goals depend in large part upon the active but orderly
participation of employees, individually and through their representatives, at every level of safety and health activity.
This part deals essentially with the rights of employees afforded under section 11(c) of the Act.
Section 11(c) of the Act prohibits reprisals, in any form, against employees who exercise rights under the Act.