What You Need to Know About OSHA Regulations in Ohio

Every employee has the right to a safe workplace. The federal government implemented the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for all employees. Here’s everything you need to know about OSHA laws in Ohio.

All Ohio employers must comply with OSHA standards and keep their workplaces free of serious recognized hazards. If workers believe their employer is not following OSHA standards or their workplace poses a serious hazard, they have a right to file a safety and health complaint or a whistleblower complaint and request an OSHA inspection of their workplace.

OSHA Standards in Ohio

Ohio is not a “state-plan” state, meaning it does not have state-specific safety and health regulations and instead abides by federal OSHA regulations. The federal OSHA sets national standards for private sector workplaces, while the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) sets state standards for public sector (government-owned) workplaces in Ohio.

OSHA standards fall under four groups: General Industry, Construction, Maritime and Agriculture.

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Some OSHA standards include employers:

  • Providing employees Provided Protective Equipment (PPE) free of charge
  • Keeping walking-working surfaces in clean, orderly and sanitary condition
    • Free of protruding nails, splinters, loose boards, unnecessary holes and openings
  • Providing fall and falling object protection systems, such as guardrails and nets
    • Details on measurements here
  • Constructing enclosed spaces to prevent the entrance or harborage of rodents, insects and other vermin
  • Providing readily available medical personnel for advice and consultation
    • In the absence of an infirmary or hospital nearby, a person in the workplace shall be adequately trained to perform first aid

Rights of Workers in Ohio

Workers and their representatives have the right to see information that employers collect in the workplace, including chemical hazards, exposure data, medical records and past work-related injuries and illnesses. During the OSHA inspection, employees may speak privately with the inspector, point out hazards and describe injuries or illnesses resulting from them, discuss past worker complaints and inform the inspector of abnormal working conditions.

Safety and Health Complaints in Ohio

Every employee has the right to file a confidential safety and health complaint and request an OSHA inspection of their workplace. They should file the complaint as soon as possible after noticing the hazard.

Potential complainants should keep in mind that submitting false statements or representations in complaints is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment of up to 6 months.

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Whistleblower Complaints in Ohio

Every employee has the right to file a whistleblower complaint if they believe their employer retaliated (wrongfully fired or took any other adverse action) against them for engaging in protected activity. OSHA-protected activity includes reporting conduct the worker reasonably believes to be unlawful to the employer or other regulatory agencies, as well as testifying and assisting in proceedings related to the violation.

FAQs About Ohio OSHA Regulations

Will OSHA disclose my name if I file a complaint?

You can tell OSHA not to disclose your name to your employer, and they will abide by that request and protect your identity.

Am I protected from retaliation for reporting something I mistakenly believe is unlawful?

Yes, as long as you had reasonable belief or good intention in reporting that a violation occurred or was about to occur, OSHA considers the reporting a protected activity.

What are other examples of retaliation in addition to firing?

Other forms of retaliation include:

  • Reducing pay or hours
  • Blacklisting
  • Demoting
  • Denying overtime, benefits or promotion
  • Disciplining
  • Intimidation and threats
  • Reassignment affecting prospects for promotion

Contact Us

If you or a loved one would like to learn more about Ohio OSHA Regulations, get your free consultation with one of our Employment Attorneys in Ohio today!