OSHA Training Component Emphasizes Workers’ Rights
OSHA has introduced a new training component called “Introduction to OSHA” which emphasizes workers’ rights and supports the goal of strengthening the voice of workers.
The course is required content in every OSHA 10 and 30-hour Outreach Training Program class. Affecting hundreds of thousands of workers who complete Outreach Training Program classes each year, Introduction to OSHA advises workers of their rights regarding:
- Safe and healthful workplaces,
- Being told about the presence and effects of hazardous chemicals,
- Being told about injuries and illnesses in their workplaces,
- Requesting OSHA inspections and being able to participate in such inspections, and
- Protection against retaliation by their employers for exercising their safety and health rights.
“For too long workers have avoided making claims of unsafe work conditions out of fear of losing their jobs,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA David Michaels. “We are confident that this new training will embolden workers to speak up when they find work practices that endanger their lives and the lives of their co-workers.”
During the 10- and 30-hour outreach training program classes, OSHA trainers will cover topics on whistleblower rights and filing a complaint, and will provide samples of a weekly fatality and catastrophe report, material data safety sheet and the OSHA Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. Trainers can obtain test and answer sheets from their authorizing training organization.
The OSHA Outreach Training Program is a voluntary program that seeks to teach workers about their rights and how to identify, reduce, avoid and prevent job-related hazards. The program includes 10- and 30-hour courses in construction, general or maritime industry safety and health hazard recognition and prevention taught through a network of OSHA-authorized trainers. During the past three years, nearly two million students have received training through this program.