Problems With OSHA in the Workplace Thesis

Pages: 5 (1578 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business

OSHA

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) is responsible for setting workplace standards as it pertains to health and safety. The purpose of OSHA is to ensure that American workers are not injured on the job, and if they are injured, as some jobs are inherently dangerous, OSHA establishes some guidelines concerning how to deal with such problems. The purpose of this discussion is to explore OSHA in the Workplace.

OSHA in the workplace

Throughout the country millions of people receive on the job injuries each year. In some instances people have reported problems associated with dealing with OSHA. According to one article entitled "The Way Out of the OSHA Ergonomics Debacle" there are some disagreements concerning the manner in which OSHA handle inspections and other factors within the context of the workplace. The aforementioned article explains that there are serious bureaucratic issues that hamper businesses and workers as it pertains to workplace inspections and complaint resolution.

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According to an article published in the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, a study involving the inner workings of OSHA revealed several factors concerning workplace inspections and the bureaucracy present within the organization. According to the journal OSHA tends to fall into the trap of many government organizations as it pertains to autonomy (Kim, 2008). Because OSHA is a government organization, there are often people from various levels of government that want some control over the organization and its policies (Kim, 2008). As such as it pertains to workplace inspections and complaints filed by workers and others, OSHA sometimes has a difficult time making certain that the aforementioned issues are handled efficiently. As such, many have complained about the amount of time that OSHA takes to resolve problems in the workplace (Kim, 2008).

Thesis on Problems With OSHA in the Workplace Assignment

It is evident from this aspect of the research that OSHA has some issues of its own associated with proper management and efficiency. Though this organization does a great deal of needed work as it pertains to enforcing standards, it appears that the organization could do a better job of making certain that complaints and problems are handle in a rapid and effectual manner. Not doing so adds to the frustration of businesses and employees alike. Now that we have garnered a greater understanding of OSHA and the challenges it faces, let us discuss OSHA inspections as it pertains to the workplace.

OSHA Inspections

Many managers and business owners alike are troubled by the manner in which OSHA operates. According to an article entitled "OSHA Inspection... Can it Happen to you" explains that OSHA has the authority to impose both civic and criminal charges on business owners that are not in compliance with OSHA standards as such an inspection can be an unnerving prospect for a business owner. According to the article, there are three circumstances under which OSHA is allowed to inspect the premises of a business. As it relates to the first circumstance, OSAH is allowed to inspect a place of business if the business belongs to an industry for which the illness or injury rate is greater than the average for that industry. In most cases businesses that have more than 10 employees are subjected to this type of inspection. In addition OSHA also has the capacity to conduct inspections at any business that is par of a particular industry. For instance OSHA may choose to conduct inspections at any location where coal is mined.

The second situation under which OSHA is permitted to conduct an inspection is when a death or major accident occurs on the premises. That is if an individual is badly injured at an amusement park OSHA has the right to subject that amusement park to an inspection. In such instances the OSHA inspector must ensure that the environment is in compliance with the rules established by OSHA. OSHA has an obligation to endure that the circumstance occurred as a result of an accident and not because safety measures were ignored.

The third situation for which OSHA can inspect a place of business is when an employee makes a complaint.

Employees have the right to work in safe environments that are conducive to productivity. If there is an unsafe situation on a job employees have a right to notify OSHA so that the complaints can be resolved. When employee complaints are present OSHA is expected to explore the complaint and take it seriously. Failure to do so on OSHA's part could lead to serious legal troubles.

Although the institution has many issues associated with the manner in which it is managed, OSHA is still the organization that has the power to determine which businesses and organizations remain open and which organizations do not. According to an article published in the magazine, Occupational Hazards there are several issues for which OSHA does not tolerate in the workplace. One of the issues that can get businesses in trouble with OSHA is to ignore citations that OSHA has issued. That is, if OSHA cites a company for certain health or safety violations, the article explains that Having a history of repeat violations is a good way to get a willful citation, according to Henry Chajet, a partner at the Washington, D.C. law firm Patton, Boggs, who has practiced OSHA law for 27 years. "In lawsuits, it's always about good faith," said Chajet. "If you can't show what you did to address a known hazard, you're a bad guy." Should anyone be hurt as a result of a hazard not addressed after an OSHA citation, a company can be in deep trouble (Nash, 2003, pg 27)."

The article further explains that OSHA inspectors do not take kindly to those businesses that ignore the standards of industrial hygiene that have been established (Nash., 2003). Additionally, organizations that don't enforce the safety rules established by OSHA are also likely to have to deal with citations and unfavorable inspections (Nash., 2003). The article points out those OSHA inspectors are serious about the jobs that they perform and they expect workplaces to comply with the standards that have been established. Failure to do so often results in serious problems for businesses that are not compliant (Nash, 2003).

Although the organization is known for having a no nonsense approach to inspections and compliance, the image of OSHA has change somewhat in recent years. An article entitled "Inside Story: Working for OSHA" explains that the administration is now taking a more communicative approach with employers. That is, OSHA now focuses more on teaching employers the ways in which they can come into compliance with OSHA's standards. This approach is designed to help employers as opposed to hindering them. The goal of tis approach is to make the OSHA inspector more of an educator and less of a stern enforces that will shut the business down at the drop of a hat because of violations. In doing this OSHA also hopes that more businesses and organizations will create safer environments not only for employees but also for customers.

Overall it is apparent that OSHA will conduct inspections whenever the administration feels that such inspections are warranted. A business that is subjected to an inspection must attempt to put forth the most positive picture of the company. The business must understand the critical nature of the health and safety standards established by OSHA and comply with these standards. Not doing so can result in the injury or death of an employee or a customer, which can be a costly way to bring a business into compliance. In addition, ignoring citations can result in serious legal troubles for the business. The research also indicates that OSHA is attempting to improve the manner in which it interacts with employers by acting as educators that are there to serve and assist employers.

Conclusion

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