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May 22, 2018

Occupational safety resources for workers

by: Anne McGinness Kearse

Each year during the last week in April, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) and other likeminded organizations band together to honor the memories of workers who have tragically lost their lives due to workplace accidents. Those who promote this national initiative known as Workers’ Memorial Week also use this occasion to inform workers and their employers of valuable tools and resources that are available to help enhance occupational safety, raise awareness and save lives.

Truthfully, this aspect of the initiative is far too important to be limited to a single week. Now that this year’s Workers’ Memorial Week has come to a close, we all must remember that workers encounter dangerous conditions year-round, and thousands are taken from their families too soon.

Looking ahead, I encourage you to join me in supporting National COSH’s ongoing efforts, and that of other advocacy groups, such as the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO). National COSH is a non-profit coalition of local and statewide groups that Motley Rice has a national collaboration with and that aspires to enhance worker safety through advocacy campaigns and the sharing of educational resources. ADAO is engaged in an unyielding fight to ban asbestos, which causes mesothelioma and other life-threatening lung diseases, affecting millions of workers and their families.

If you or a loved one is a worker, consider reviewing occupational safety resources and sharing them with others that might be affected. Below you’ll find several tools that may help you recognize and address potentially dangerous practices in your workplace, or offer insight on worker rights and options that are available to you if you are ever injured on the job.

Worker safety resources

5. Your OSHA Rights in a Nutshell
You have a right to work in an environment that doesn’t make you sick or cause you harm. To ensure that you’re safe, you first need access to information on how to protect yourself from dangerous chemicals as well as proper training. For a refresher on your workplace’s obligations to you, read your OSHA rights.

4. National COSH Fatality Database
This volunteer effort aspires to collect data on worker fatalities in order to better understand the scope of the issue and prevent future deaths. To review available data from 2014 to 2018, or submit information, visit this Worker Fatality Database.  

3. Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards
If your goal is to recognize and fix potential hazards before someone gets hurt, reviewing common problem areas is a great place to start. Read OSHA’s top 10 workplace safety violations for 2017.  

2. Agriculture Worker Protection Standard
To remain effective, worker safety guidelines must constantly evolve with time as we gain new insights on potential harms. Review and compare the EPA’s recently revised agricultural protections for 2017.

1. Safety Starts with Training
Prior to facing potential hazards on the job, workers must first be given adequate training in order to protect themselves and others. For information on training materials, grants that are available to nonprofit organizations, and education centers, review OSHA’s training resources.  

Additional occupational safety resources: