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Friday, May 15, 2015

‘It's The Law' New OSHA Poster Mandated


By: Tommy Eden

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced the latest version of a poster specifying workers’ rights and employers’ responsibilities under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Employers covered by the Act must display the “Job Safety and Health—It's The Law!” poster or face a possible citation and penalty. 

This is the first poster update since 2007 and includes the new employer obligations for reporting to the Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration within 24 hours of a worker suffering an amputation, the loss of an eye, or any incident that results in at least one worker being hospitalized. 

The New OSHA Poster boldly states that Employers must: 


 Provide employees a workplace free from recognized hazards. It is illegal to retaliate against an employee for using any of their rights under the law, including raising a health and safety concern with you or with OSHA, or reporting a work-related injury or illness.

Comply with all applicable OSHA standards.

Report to OSHA all work-related fatalities within 8 hours, and all inpatient hospitalizations, amputations and losses of an eye within 24 hours.

 Provide required training to all workers in a language and vocabulary they can understand. 

 Prominently display this poster in the workplace.

Post OSHA citations at or near the place of the alleged violations.

The poster is free and can be downloaded. You can get a copy of the OSHA poster in several ways:

§                 Order a print copy online from www.OSHA.gov. The English version is publication number 3165. The Spanish version is publication number 3167.

§                 Order a print copy by phone. Call OSHA's toll-free number at 1-800-321-6742 (OSHA) or the OSHA Publications Office at 202-693-1888.

§                 Download a copy from the OSHA Web site. Note: OSHA requires that reproductions or facsimiles of the poster be at least 8.5" x 14" inches with 10 point type. More information on how to obtain the poster is available at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/poster.html with multiple language versions in addition to English available including:  Spanish, Polish, Korean and Chinese.

Common Sense Counsel: Failure to obtain and post this new OSHA poster in the native language of your employees can be a serious and costly mistake. Failure to make a timely injury report to OSHA as mandated would be your second costly mistake. Failure to train on these new requirements in the language and vocabulary of your workforce, and maintain sign-in records of such, would be your third costly mistake. So do it today and you will avoid be the subject matter of one of my future Columns. 

Tommy Eden is a partner working out of the Constangy, Smith & Prophete, LLP offices in Opelika, AL and West Point, GA and a member of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law and serves on the Board of Directors for the East Alabama SHRM Chapter. He can be contacted at teden@constangy.com or 334-246-2901. Blog at www.alabamaatwork.com and follow on twitter tommyeden3