As of October 1, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) will increase the number of safety and health inspections across many industries in its Region VII zone - which covers Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri.
Affected industries include furniture making, cabinetmaking, wood products manufacturing, and construction worksites, among others.
"The intent is to encourage employers to take steps to address hazards, ensure facilities are evaluated to determine if the employer complies with all relevant OSHA requirements, and to help employers correct hazards, thereby reducing potential injuries, illnesses, and death of workers," writes OSHA.
The directive increases the probability of inspecting high hazard industry establishments within jurisdiction of Region VII, with more than ten employees, which have not received a comprehensive OSHA inspection since FY 2016, says OSHA. Inspections will be determined as necessary by "identified injury and illness rates."
"The wood products industry includes some of the most dangerous occupations in the United States," the administration writes online. "The equipment poses numerous hazards, particularly when machines are used improperly or without proper safeguards."
Some of OSHA's general workers' rights:
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands) about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
- File a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they believe there is a serious hazard or that their employer is not following OSHA's rules. OSHA will keep all identities confidential.
- Exercise their rights under the law without retaliation, including reporting an injury or raising health and safety concerns with their employer or OSHA. If a worker has been retaliated against for using their rights, they must file a complaint with OSHA as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days.
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