Resources for Workplace Safety Laws and Regulations

When we talk about workplace safety, we’re referring to the overall working conditions within a company. Anything that affects the safety and health (both physical and mental health) of those who work for any given company. Some examples are the safety of the working space itself, the stress and well-being of the employees, hazards within the grounds or building, drug abuse, hazardous protocols, etc.

Understanding that safety in the workplace is the responsibility of both the company and its employees are important. However, there are numerous occupational health and safety laws, rules, and regulations and we know how hard it is to keep up with them all.

For easy accessibility, we’ve compiled this list of workplace safety topics to help you find the resource you need. We invite you to follow the links to get more information.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) For business owners, human resources managers, and safety officers, the information on this site is as "Must-Know" as it gets. It's importance to workplace health and safety is second only to the OSHA site listed four links below. Actually, this is not the ADA "web site". It is a web page belonging to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Doesn't THAT right there tell you something about the ADA?

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)) This site is vital to you if you own or manage a business or intend to start a business. We suggest visiting and learning to navigate this website well. Click on "About OSHA" and then on "OSH Act" (or click on the link we created for you that follows) and you'll be taken to the index of the complete text of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The OSH Act contains all of the very strict workplace health and safety rules and regulations that apply to 105 million U.S. employees and their 6 1/2 million employers. Chances are, you probably fit one of those two categories.

Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace (IDFW) The IDFW is a non-profit organization promoting substance abuse prevention and providing lots of info and stats on drug abuse in America. Two of their many available publications, "Guide to State and Federal Drug-Testing Laws" and "Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention and the ADA: An Employer's Guide" are the best and most helpful available on those subjects. Unlike the PDFA, the IDFW coalition of professionals was formed and is supported by general business and industry (i.e., "employers"), not just the communications (media) segment.

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) NIDA is the Federal agency that established the "gold standard" of drug testing procedure and process for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). That same testing standard is followed today by the vast majority of business and industry. The "NIDA-5 Panel" refers to the panel of the five most common drugs of abuse tested in America today: Amphetamines, Marijuana, Cocaine, Opiates, and PCP. Added to this test panel in October 2011, was MDMA (Ecstasy) and Heroin. This site offers information on drug abuse for research and health professionals, parents, teachers, and students.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)  This site, you'd better visit and learn to navigate well if you own or manage a business or intend to start a business! Click on "About OSHA" and then on "OSH Act" (or click on the link we created for you that follows) and you'll be taken to the index of the complete text of the "Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970". The OSH Act contains all of the very strict workplace health and safety rules and regulations that apply to 105 million U.S. employees and their 6 1/2 million employers. Chances are, you probably fit one of those two categories.

OHS Health & Safety Services, Inc. (d.b.a., Occupational Health Services, or, "OHS")  We cannot help but offer you a link here to the Home page of our own web site! Each month, 95,000+ visitors access our web site from more than 70 different countries around the world for the information we make available about drug testing and other workplace safety and health issues. OHS is a "TPA", a Third Party Administrator of health and safety services for other companies and organizations. Since 1991, our core business has been and continues to be initiating and managing Drug-Free Workplace Programs for large and small organizations. After a dozen years at it, we are now also among the largest TPAs in our Industry that provide "on-site" drug-testing, pre-placement physical exams, blood draws, and a host of other workplace safety services. If your organization is in need of any of these type services, it should go without saying that we strongly recommend OHS. (But, of course, we said it anyway!)

Osh.Net A gateway for occupational safety and health information and resources. Finding information about occupational safety and health no longer means having to burrow through thick unwieldy volumes of government reports. When you use Osh.Net, it is the only stop you will need to make.

Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA)  Especially if you have children, this is a wonderful resource to know about and use! A drug abuse prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery resource, existing to help parents and caregivers effectively address alcohol and drug abuse with their teens and young adults. PDFA is a private non-profit, non-partisan coalition of professionals from the communications industry. Their mission is to reduce demand for illicit drugs in America - especially among children and teenagers - through media communication. This site has a wealth of information on drugs of abuse. Especially great: each day they publish links to the most recent "headline news" articles on illicit drug-related issues and drug abuse-related stories being reported in various newspapers (e.g., USA Today, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Dallas Morning News, et al) from different parts of the country.

Small Business Administration (SBA)  This site can be helpful to both existing and proposed businesses (in case you're thinking of starting one). Don't let the "Small" in SBA fool you. The U.S. Government's official (and ridiculous) definition of a "small business" is any business "doing less than $500 million dollars annually". Therefore, OHS, Inc. and most of the rest of us 6 1/2 million employers in the U.S. easily qualify for the SBA's free business advice, guidance, and other assistance. Get free tips on starting, expanding, and financing your business. Includes an outstanding directory of information and links to local services.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) SAMHSA is the Federal agency charged with improving the quality and availability of prevention, treatment, and rehabilitative services in order to reduce illness, death, disability, and cost to society resulting from substance abuse and mental illnesses.

U.S. Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) If your company employs one or more of the approximately 8,000,000 big-rig or hazmat truck drivers, airline personnel, public transportation workers, oil-gas pipeline workers or other employees "covered" under D.O.T. regulations, this site is very important for you. If your company is not D.O.T. regulated, skip over this site. It's actually a bit boring. Links and easy direct access to the full compliment of D.O.T. organizations (FAA, FHWA, et al) will be found on the "U.S. Government Agency" web site a bit further below on this page.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)  Your business may be one of the lucky ones of the type that need not follow EPA edicts and dictates to the "T", as they relate to workplace health and safety. If you are not that lucky, at least you are fortunate enough to have found this page we have provided for you to easily link to their site for all the latest EPA information you need. We highly recommend the following: once you access their site, click on "Laws and Regulations" about half-way down the left frame. Get to know those well!

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)  The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person's race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

Most employers with at least 15 employees are covered by EEOC laws (20 employees in age discrimination cases). Most labor unions and employment agencies are also covered.

EEOC laws apply to all types of work situations, including hiring, firing, promotions, harassment, training, wages, and benefits

U.S. Government Agencies In addition to some already included above, this link will take you to a full and comprehensive listing of U.S. Government Agency web sites including the full compliment of the various Department of Transportation sub-agencies. Includes other sites with government information (rules, laws, regs) helpful to business owners, HR managers and safety officers. Includes a long list of "consumer" oriented sites, too (just in case you also happen to be a consumer).

Why Occupational Safety is Important

Truly understanding and being aware of your rights and responsibilities as an employer and an employee is of the utmost importance. Health and safety policies are an essential part of any business.

Employer Workplace Safety Measures

It’s important for employers to keep the workplace safe to ensure that the employees are protected from injury and illness. When employee injury and illness are controlled and minimized, healthcare costs, insurance costs, and workers’ compensation claims and costs go down as well. However, there are several more intangible costs saved that will benefit you, too:
  • Reduction in tardiness and unexcused absences
  • Less turnover, firing, and quitting
  • Higher employee morale
  • Better productivity and workmanship
  • Besides the very obvious statement that keeping your employees safe is the right thing to do, working to protect your employees is also financially responsible and it generates confidence in your employees. Research has proven time and again that happy employees work better and harder than unhappy employees.

    Employee Workplace Safety Measures

    As an employee, there are three very important rules to follow to do your part in keeping safe while on the job.
  • Always stay alert and aware of what’s going on around you
  • Understand your job, be confident in completing your tasks, know what you need to do and how to do it before you start it, ask questions if necessary
  • Trust yourself and your instincts, if something feels off, do your research to ensure everything is being done correctly
  • If you see unsafe conditions, report them immediately. This may be a hazard you see on the sales floor or it could be an employee you see that’s not performing their job safely or correctly.

    It’s everybody’s role to keep the workplace as safe as they possibly can. Doing so will lead to fewer accidents, less stress, and overall comfort within the workplace. A win for employees and employers alike.
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