OSHA - Introduction to OSHA

OSHA - Introduction to OSHA

Course Description

This course provides a general overview of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and includes topics such as its history, mission, employees' rights and inspections procedures. 

Accreditation Information: KLA Education Services LLC is accredited by the State of California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # CEP16145.

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Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the course participant will be able to:

  • Describe why is OSHA important to them.
  • List 3 rights they have under OSHA.
  • List 3 responsibilities their employer has under OSHA.
  • Describe as least 3 key OSHA standards.
  • Describe how are OSHA inspections conducted.
  • List one way where they can go for OSHA help.

Course Content

Why is OSHA Important to You?

  • OSHA began because, until 1970, there were no national laws for safety and health hazards.

  • On average, 15 workers die every day from job injuries

  • Over 5,600 Americans die from workplace injuries annually

  • Over 4 million non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses are reported

History of OSHA

  • OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Labor

  • OSHA’s responsibility is worker safety and health protection

  • On December 29, 1970, President Nixon signed the OSHA Act

  • This Act created OSHA, the agency, which formally came into being on April 28, 1971

OSHA Coverage Activity

Covered by OSHA?



  1. Harry Adams, a miner at Below Ground Inc.


  1. Adrian Smith, one of 3 employees of ABC landscaping.


  1. Rob Jones, one of 10 carpenters working for Woody, Inc.

OSHA’s Mission

  • The mission of OSHA is to save lives, prevent injuries and protect the health of America’s workers.

  • Some of the things OSHA does to carry out its mission are:

    • developing job safety and health standards and enforcing them through worksite inspections

    • maintaining a reporting and recordkeeping system to keep track of job-related injuries and illnesses

    • providing training programs to increase knowledge about occupational safety and health.

What Rights Do You Have Under OSHA?

  • You have the right to:
    • A safe and healthful workplace
    • Know about hazardous chemicals
    • Information about injuries and illnesses in your workplace
    • Complain or request hazard correction from employer
    • Training
    • Hazard exposure and medical records
    • File a complaint with OSHA
    • Participate in an OSHA inspection
    • Be free from retaliation for exercising safety and health rights

Worker Rights

  • Have you seen this poster at your place of work?

  • Creation of OSHA provided workers the right to a safe and healthful workplace

Safe and Healthful Workplace

  • The creation of OSHA provided workers the right to a safe and healthful workplace.
  • Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act states: “Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees."

Know About Hazardous Chemicals

  • Employers must have a written, complete hazard communication program that includes information on:
    • Container labeling
    • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs)
    • Worker training
      • The training must include the physical and health hazards of the chemicals and how workers can protect themselves; including specific procedures the employer has implemented to protect workers, such as work practices, emergency procedures, and personal protective equipment.


  • What information does the MSDS provide?

  • Have you seen an MSDS in their workplace?

  • Are the instructions on the MSDS followed in your workplace?

  • Have you worked with hazardous substances without an MSDS?

Information About Injuries/Illnesses

  • OSHA’s Recordkeeping rule requires most employers with more than 10 workers to keep a log of injuries and illnesses.

  • Workers have the right to review the current log, as well as the logs stored for the past 5 years.

  • Workers also have the right to view the annually posted summary of the injuries and illnesses (OSHA 300A).

Complain or Request Corrections

  • Workers may bring up safety and health concerns in the workplace to their employers without fear of discharge or discrimination, as long as the complaint is made in good faith.

  • OSHA regulations [29CFR 1977.9(c)] protect workers who complain to their employer about unsafe or unhealthful conditions in the workplace.


  • Workers have a right to get training from employers on a variety of health and safety hazards and standards that employers must follow.

  • Some required training covers topics such as, lockout-tagout, bloodborne pathogens, noise, confined spaces, fall hazards in construction, personal protective equipment, along with a variety of other subjects.

Examine Exposure and Medical Records

  • 1910.1020: right to examine & copy records

  • Examples of toxic substances and harmful physical agents are:

    • Metals and dusts, such as, lead, cadmium, and silica.

    • Biological agents, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

    • Physical stress, such as noise, heat, cold, vibration, repetitive motion, and ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

File a Complaint With OSHA

  • Workers may file a complaint with OSHA if they believe a violation of a safety or health standard, or an imminent danger situation, exists in the workplace.

  • Workers may request that their name not be revealed to the employer.

  • If a worker files a complaint, they have the right to find out OSHA’s action on the complaint and request a review if an inspection is not made.

Participate in an OSHA Inspection

  • Employee representative can accompany OSHA inspector.

  • Workers can talk to the inspector privately.

  • Workers may point out hazards, describe injuries, illnesses or near misses that resulted from those hazards and describe any concern you have about a safety or health issue.

  • Workers can find out about inspection results, abatement measures and may object to dates set for violation to be corrected.

Be Free from Retaliation

  • Workers have the right to be free from retaliation for exercising safety and health rights.

  • Workers have a right to seek safety and health on the job without fear of punishment.

  • This right is spelled out in Section 11(c) of the OSH Act.

  • Workers have 30 days to contact OSHA if they feel they have been punished for exercising their safety and health rights.

Questions for Review

  • What does an MSDS tell you?

  • What are some worker rights related to injury and illness reporting?

  • Name some standards or hazards where workers must be trained.

What Responsibilities Does Your Employer Have Under OSHA?

  • Provide a workplace free from recognized hazards and comply with OSHA standards

  • Provide training required by OSHA standards

  • Keep records of injuries and illnesses

  • Provide medical exams when required by OSHA standards and provide workers access to their exposure and medical records

  • Not discriminate against workers who exercise their rights under the Act (Section 11(c))

  • Post OSHA citations and abatement verification notices

  • Provide and pay for PPE

Employers Are Required To:

Employers must keep records of injuries and illnesses.


Employers must:

  • Report each worker death

  • Report each incident that hospitalizes 3 or more workers

  • Maintain injury & illness records

  • Inform workers how to report an injury or illness to the employer

  • Make records available to workers

  • Allow OSHA access to records

  • Post annual summary of injuries & illnesses

OSHA 300 Log

  • Number of workers that are getting injured or ill

  • The types of injuries and illnesses reported

  • The jobs and departments where the most severe injuries or illnesses are occurring

Employers Must Provide and Pay for PPE

  • Does anyone wear personal protective equipment on their job?

  • Employers are required to determine if PPE should be used to protect their workers.

  • Rule was effective on February 13, 2008 and implemented by May 15, 2008.

More Questions for Review

  • What are some of the responsibilities employers have related to OSHA recordkeeping?

  • Which section of the OSH Act prohibits employers from discriminating against workers for exercising their safety and health rights?

  • What are some types of PPE that employers must pay for?

What do the OSHA Standards Say?

  • OSHA standards fall into four categories: General Industry, Construction, Maritime, and Agriculture.

  • OSHA issues standards for a wide variety of workplace hazards

  • Where there are no specific OSHA standards, employers must comply with The General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1)

Most Frequently Cited Standards

Click: Most Frequently Cited (MFC) Standards to view current data

To search MFC data on this webpage:

  • “Select number of employees in establishment,” select ALL or one of the options listed

  • “Federal or State Jurisdiction,” select Federal or, from the dropdown menu, a specific state

  • “SIC,” select ALL for all Industry groups, C for Construction, D for Manufacturing (General Industry), or 373 and 449 for Maritime

  • Shown are search results for: All sizes of establishments, in Federal jurisdiction, with Construction SIC codes

How Are OSHA Inspections Conducted?

  • The OSH Act authorizes OSHA compliance safety and health officers (CSHOs) to conduct workplace inspections at reasonable times.

  • OSHA conducts inspections without advance notice, except in rare circumstances (e.g. Imminent Danger)

  • In fact, anyone who tells an employer about an OSHA inspection in advance can receive fines and a jail term.

OSHA Inspection Priority


Category of Inspection


Imminent Danger:

Reasonable certainty an immediate danger exists



Reported to OSHA; inspected ASAP



Worker or worker representative can file a complaint about a safety or health hazard


Programmed Inspections:

Cover industries and employers with high injury and illness rates, specific hazards, or other exposures.

Citations and Penalties




A violation that the employer intentionally and knowingly commits or a violation that the employer commits with plain indifference to the law.

OSHA may propose penalties of up to $70,000 for each willful violation, with a minimum penalty of $5,000 for each willful violation.


A violation where there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result and that the employer knew, or should have known, of the hazard.

There is a mandatory penalty for serious violations which may be up to $7,000.


A violation that has a direct relationship to safety and health, but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.

OSHA may propose a penalty of up to $7,000 for each other-than-serious violation.


A violation that is the same or similar to a previous violation.

OSHA may propose penalties of up to $70,000 for each repeated violation.

Sources Within the Workplace/Worksite

  • Employer or supervisor, co-workers and union representatives

  • Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for information on chemicals

  • Labels and warning signs

  • Employee orientation manuals or other training materials

  • Work tasks and procedures instruction

Sources Outside the Workplace/Worksite

  • OSHA website: http://www.osha.gov and OSHA offices (you can call or write)

  • Compliance Assistance Specialists in the area offices

  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) – OSHA’s sister agency

  • OSHA Training Institute Education Centers

  • Doctors, nurses, other health care providers

  • Public libraries

  • Other local, community-based resources

Session Summary

This Lesson Covered:

  • The importance of OSHA, including the history of safety and health regulation leading to the creation of OSHA and OSHA’s mission;

  • Worker rights under OSHA;

  • Employer responsibilities;

  • OSHA standards;

  • OSHA inspections; and

  • Safety and health resources, including how to file a complaint.

Course Evaluation

Please select the extent to the following was met. (Disagree..Agree)

1. Course met objectives?

(1) (5)

2. Applicability or usability of new information?

(1) (5)

3. Adequacy of the instructor's mastery of subject?

(1) (5)

4. Efficiency of course mechanics?

(1) (5)

Course Evaluation

Please select the extent to the following was met. (Disagree..Agree)

1. Course met objectives?

(1) (5)

2. Applicability or usability of new information?

(1) (5)

3. Adequacy of the instructor's mastery of subject?

(1) (5)

4. Efficiency of course mechanics?

(1) (5)

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