OSHA Worker Rights and Protections

Road construction worker in a hard hat, placing concrete barriers

Know Your Rights

Federal law entitles you to a safe workplace. Your employer must keep your workplace free of known health and safety hazards. You have the right to speak up about hazards without fear of retaliation. You also have the right to:

  • Receive workplace safety and health training in a language you understand
  • Work on machines that are safe
  • Refuse to work in a situation in which you would be exposed to a hazard
  • Receive required safety equipment, such as gloves or a harness and lifeline for falls
  • Be protected from toxic chemicals
  • Request an OSHA inspection, and speak to the inspector
  • Report an injury or illness, and get copies of your medical records
  • Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses
  • See results of tests taken to find workplace hazards

When to File a Complaint

  • Safety and Health Complaint
    If you believe working conditions are unsafe or unhealthful, you may file a confidential complaint with OSHA and ask for an inspection. If possible, tell your employer about your concerns.

    How to File a Safety and Health Complaint  

  • Protection from Retaliation
    It is illegal for an employer to fire, demote, transfer or otherwise retaliate against a worker who complains to OSHA and uses their legal rights. If you believe you have been retaliated against in any way, file a whistleblower complaint within 30 days of the alleged retaliation.

    How to File a Whistleblower Complaint  

Contact OSHA

To discuss a health and safety issue at work, contact OSHA toll-free at 1-800-321-6742 (OSHA) or by email, or contact your nearest OSHA office. Your information will be kept confidential.

Map of the United States of America



Worker's Rights Wallet Card
Workers' Rights - Vertical Wallet Card
Multiple Languages

Human Trafficking Fact Sheet
Español: PDF

Workers Have Rights Card
Multiple Languages

Job Safety and Health - It's The Law Poster
14 Languages | Available in Print

Labor Trafficking Wallet Card
Multiple Languages


Icon of scales

Common Hazard Citations

Icon of a gavel

OSHA Law and Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 created OSHA, which sets and enforces protective workplace safety and health standards. There are OSHA standards for construction, agriculture, maritime and general industry. Employers also must comply with the General Duty Clause of the OSH Act, which requires them to keep their workplaces free of serious recognized hazards.