Working around dusts, fibers, chemicals, or fumes can put you at risk of developing an occupational disease. Studies have shown that 4% to 10% of all cancers in the United States are caused by work exposures. And, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than thirteen
Both federal and state workplace safety laws prohibit your employer from retaliating against you for asserting your rights under those laws. An employer retaliates when it makes any negative change in your working conditions to punish you for having asserted your rights under the law. This can include
If you're working in a hazardous environment, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act (the OSH Act) and similar state laws give you some important rights. How you should deal with the unsafe condition depends on how immediate the danger is. If you think your life is in imminent danger because of a workplace hazard, you can refuse to work. If the danger is not imminent, ask your employer to take care of the problem.
Many states and municipalities have laws that mandate a certain level of safety in the workplace. These laws vary greatly in what they require, how they are enforced, and even which employers they cover. Early on, California began enforcing the most powerful of these laws: It requires every employer
The main federal law covering threats to workplace safety is the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA). OSHA created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (also called OSHA) to enforce workplace safety. And it created the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to