I love having this conversation because I feel we still have a tremendous amount of work to do to get the industry to realize that we only have to do energetic work when it needs to be done energetically. After all, none of us want to find ourselves fighting for our lives recovering from a shock or arc flash. In fact, this reminds me of a conversation I had with someone recently in which they shared a story about how they were asked to work on a motor control center (MCC) while energized, even though all the loads the MCC supplied were not running at the time because it was a scheduled maintenance day. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the response from many with whom he shared his story was along the lines of…this is something only a trained electrician should do.
However, is it? First, let’s delve into OSHA requirements to see if this is the case, since, in the U.S., OSHA is the law. OSHA standard 1910.333 (a) (1) clearly states that the parts to which an employee will be exposed must be deactivated before work begins unless the employer can demonstrate that deactivation:
Osha 1926 work at heights pdf
“Workers get sick and die every day,” said Jessica Martinez, co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH). “But in too many cases, when workers speak out to demand greater safety, they are met with retaliation. OSHA fails to provide workers with the protection they urgently need when they report hazards that seriously endanger their lives and families. “
In June 2020, the National Employment Law Project surveyed more than 1,100 workers nationwide and found that one in eight reported “possible retaliatory actions by employers against workers in their company who have raised health and safety concerns during the pandemic.” Black workers were more than twice as likely as their white counterparts to report possible employer retaliatory actions.
“NOS. OSHA should act immediately and implement the inspector general’s recommendations, ” said Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, also co-director of National COSH. “Add staff. Cut the bureaucracy. Do whatever it takes to make whistleblower protection a priority. When workers can speak up safely, we can save lives in the workplace and protect our families and communities.”
It is important to note the third step. Even if you refuse to do the work, you are still on your company’s work schedule. If you leave the workplace or leave without being told to do so, it may give your employer a justified reason to fire you. It may be uncomfortable, but it is important to wait until the end of your shift and follow all of your employer’s rules.
It is important to give your employer the opportunity to rectify the situation, either by fixing the hazard or replacing equipment. You may face termination or other job repercussions if you only refuse to perform a task because of dangerous equipment.
Doing everything right may not protect you from termination. These situations should be investigated by the appropriate government authorities before any action is taken, which may take time. In the meantime, you may wish to contact a civil rights or employment rights attorney to address the workplace discrimination or employer retaliation you are experiencing.
What is osha wikipedia
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the United States Department of Labor. Congress established the agency under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon on December 29, 1970. OSHA’s mission is “to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women through the establishment and enforcement of standards, and through training, outreach, education, and assistance.” The agency is also responsible for enforcing various laws and regulations relating to whistleblowers. It is currently headed by Assistant Secretary of Labor David Michaels.
OSHA covers most private sector employers in all 50 states and other U.S. jurisdictions – directly through federal OSHA or an OSHA plan approved by each state.
State plans are OSHA-approved job safety and health programs operated by the states rather than the federal OSHA administration. OSHA approves and monitors all state plans and provides fifty percent of the funding for each program. State-operated programs must be as effective as federal programs.