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How does the OSH Act of 1970 affect employers in Florida?

Employing workers in Florida is a serious responsibility. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, ensuring that you are fulfilling all your obligations to your employees involves at least a cursory knowledge of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. The focus of this Act in regards to your workplace and others is to prevent workplace illnesses, injuries and fatalities by regulating the conditions of the jobsites. As an employer, it is your duty to your employees to be in compliance with the standards for health and safety that are set by the OSH Act.

Eliminating risk of harm is one of your primary requirements. When there are situations where chemicals or other potentially hazardous substances or circumstances that are a necessary part of performing the job, you must provide tools and personal protective equipment to mitigate the risks.

Providing education and training to your employees is a vital part of maintaining a safe and healthy workplace. This must be offered through communication that is readily understood by the workers. You should also have a written program that lists hazards they may encounter on the jobsite, as well as training in safe operating procedures. In addition to the guidelines for developing these education and training programs, OSHA offers materials and on-site consultations with safety experts for your benefit.

Another of your responsibilities is recordkeeping. All serious job-related illnesses and injuries must be logged to OSHA specifications, unless you are in one of the exempt categories and employ fewer than 11 workers. The records must be made available to your workers, past and present, and their representatives. You may also be required to post them for three months.

Many of OSHA’s regulations are industry specific, and a variety of rules may be particular to your workplace. So, although this information may give you an idea of what to expect, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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