Texas OSHA Laws: How to Stay OSHA Compliant in Texas

OSHA requirements often overwhelm business owners and executives, who argue that they and their workers are simply too busy and under-equipped to handle everything effectively. Although that may be the case, OSHA requirements should still be met to avoid any penalties and workplace incidents. OSHA accepts no excuses for not completing safety training from any business. Therefore, you should ensure that all OSHA laws and regulations are being met. 

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What are OSHA and OSHA Compliance? 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, better known as OSHA was established in 1971 to help create a safer work environment by working with businesses to establish standards that were workplace-specific. For example, the health care and construction sectors must take certain actions to identify key OSHA guidelines and requirements that apply to their business. OSHA internet materials can assist you in adhering to their rules and avoiding workplace accidents and illnesses. 

As mentioned, OSHA is responsible for protecting American workers by assisting in ensuring that workplaces are safe and free from health and safety risks. OSHA does this by: 

  1. Creating health and safety regulations that businesses must abide by
  2. Enforcing actions to penalize violating businesses to discourage non-compliance. Despite the considerable burden its rules and regulations place on US employers, they are crucial and effective to the organization.

Before OSHA was established, there were 38 fatal workplace accidents every day, or an average of 14,000 per year in the US. Now, there are approximately 4,200 deaths per year, or 12 per day, meaning there has been a 65% reduction. Considering the number of US jobs has more than doubled, OSHA's impact is substantially better.

OSHA Facts to Consider: 

  • OSHA enforcement efforts are currently at historically high levels with no indication of slowing down.
  • The average OSHA penalty ranges between $15,000 – $50,000 per inspection but regularly exceeds $100,000.
  • The number of fines exceeding $100,000 has more than doubled since 2007.
  • OSHA issues fines in 85% of their inspections.

Although 27 states have their own state plans that must meet or exceed OSHA Federal standards, the majority of states fall under the jurisdiction of Federal OSHA. 

Texas OSHA Regulations   

Texas is one of the states that fall under Federal OSHA, meaning that all Texas employers are required to adhere to or exceed all OSHA health and safety regulations. These rules and regulations fall into 5 categories:

  • Administrative Requirements: this includes customized health and safety manual, PPE assessments, etc. 
  • Employee Training Requirements: multiple training requirements are depending on the activities of your business and the risks they pose. Many training requirements are recurring, and all affected employees must be trained.
  • Record-Keeping Requirements: primarily the OSHA 300 logs and training records. 
  • Health Exposure Testing for air quality and noise: employers must not expose their employees to significant levels of OSHA-listed chemicals and toxins, nor expose employees to significant noise levels. 
  • Managing and abating Physical Hazards on the shop floor: these result in the majority of fines and penalties when inspections occur. 

Under the new Biden administration, OSHA has recently increased OSHA inspections by hiring more inspectors and putting a new emphasis on targeting organizations that don’t take employee safety seriously. 

OSHA Workers Rights 

OSHA provides workers with the right to safe and healthy working conditions. Employers have a responsibility to offer safe workplaces free of known hazards that could harm their workers. Additionally, OSHA laws in Texas grant significant rights to employees to take part in initiatives that guarantee their protection from working dangers. Employees have the right to: 

  • File a confidential complaint with OSHA to request an inspection of their workplace. 
  • Receive information and training about hazards, methods to prevent harm, and the OSHA regulations that apply to their workplace. The training must be given in a language and vocabulary employees can understand.
  • Examine records of work-related illnesses and injuries that occur in the workplace.
  • Obtain copies of the results from tests and monitoring done to identify and measure hazards in the workplace. 
  • Receive copies of their workplace medical history. 
  • Participate in an OSHA inspection and speak in private with the inspector. 
  • File a complaint with OSHA if their employer has retaliated against them as the result of requesting an inspection or exercising any of their other rights under the OSHA OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION 4. 
  • File a complaint if punished or retaliated against for acting as a “whistleblower” under the more than 20 additional federal statutes for which OSHA has jurisdiction. 

According to the OSHA government website, a job must be safe, or it cannot be called a good job. OSHA strives to ensure that every worker in the nation goes home safely at the end of the workday, the most important right of all. 

OSHA Training in Texas 

Most small Texas manufacturing and construction businesses find it difficult to understand and manage OSHA Texas laws and training standards. However, not doing so puts workers at risk of serious injuries or even fatalities, and the business risks facing large fines and penalties. A company's size or lack of resources is not an excuse; it must meet the same standards as any other business. 

Some basic OSHA training and standard requirements are: 

  • Each OSHA Standard has a corresponding training requirement. For example, the Fall Protection Standard includes a training requirement that must address all fall hazards at a particular organization.
  • Common topics to expect include Hazard Communication (Chemical Safety), Personal Protective Equipment, Emergency Response & Fire Prevention, Lockout/Tagout, Electrical Safety, Confined Spaces, Respiratory Protection, Hearing Conservation, and many more.
  • Depending on a business’s processes and hazards, it’s normal for an organization to be required to train between 8-12 topics per year to each of its employees.
  • Employee responsibilities and scope of work should correspond with the training topics. 
  • Depending on the training topic, the time taken for each topic can range from 30 minutes to 60 minutes or longer to address it appropriately. 

To avoid any penalties or accidents, fulfill the Texas OSHA laws and requirements for your business by selecting from a variety of our online courses. Start your safety training today!

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