OSHA Certification Can Help Keep Workers Safe

March 25, 2011 at 9:22 am Leave a comment

In 2009 more than 4,000 workers were killed in accidents while on the job. While the emotional effect on families when a loved one dies is devastating, for many families it can also create a financial hardship that puts their homes and futures at risk.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is part of the United States Department of Labor and was created to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for men and women by setting and enforcing standards, providing trainings, outreach, education, and assistance in compliance.

As part of the East Austin Children’s Promise initiative, through a partnership with the U.S. Dept of Labor, Workers Defense Project, Chase Bank, and Southwest Key Programs, the first OSHA training certified ten adults this month. The training, which lasted two days, included informative lectures about workers’ rights and safety and hands-on activities educating participants about the proper use of equipment and construction safety.  Attendees to the training included management and staff from various industries such as: construction, restaurants, janitorial services, green energy, and home building.

As the organizer of this training, and a participant, it is amazing to realize how quickly a situation can turn bad and in some cases, deadly. Surprisingly, most accidents that take place in the field or in the workplace are due to misinformation and negligence on the part of both the employee and employer. The OSHA training was an opportunity to raise awareness with both employers and employees about preventing major accidents from taking place in the workplace. But one of the other goals was to inform both employers and employees about the rights they are entitled to – one of which is safe working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm. Empowering the workforce with this right was the reason the OSHA Act of 1970 was passed.

In the end, no matter the industry or work you do, by law, your employer must provide a safe working environment. And empowering employees, through trainings that teach them their rights and how to be safe, they can demand a safe working environment. And that can save lives.

– Daniel Hinojosa
Career Services Coordinator
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Entry filed under: Community Center, Community Resource, East Austin Children's Promise, Govalle/Johnston Terrace Neighborhood, Workforce Development.

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