The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) has developed a wide range of health and safety training materials and best practices for every industry, including various industrial companies. You can search your exact type of company on the OSHA website. Exact regulations can vary even within industrial companies, so let’s take a look at a singular example. The semiconductor industry has enjoyed great growth in recent decades with advanced manufacturing processes and rules for dealing with industry hazards potentially changing every few years. Like many OSHA standards, the demand to conduct more hazard assessments more often has affected the semiconductor industry and many other industrial types of companies.
In the past 60 years, the semiconductor industry has expanded greatly. Due to rapid changes in this industry, manufacturing processes and their associated hazards may change completely every few years. These changes make hazard assessments more difficult to complete and require that they be conducted more often. Common hazards may include exposure to solvents, acid and caustic solutions, toxic metals, and radiation.
Following OSHA Rules
As you can imagine, the exact standards and hazard assessments per industry are vast. They include identifying hazardous materials, the requirements for semiconductor “dipping and coating,” an overview of required personal protective equipment (PPE), respiratory protection regulations, handling and disposing of toxic substances, addressing inorganic arsenic and lead, and rules about accessing employee medical records particularly as it relates to exposure. Specific safety guidelines are laid out in OSHA documents, including the environment, health, and safety regulations for semiconductor manufacturing equipment, guidelines for identifying flow-limiting devices for gas cylinder valves, exhaust ventilation, and much more.
Although the specific rules and practices identified by OSHA are different in each industry and always changing, one thing remains constant. OSHA was created to help protect workers and their rights. OSHA dictates that all workers have a right to work in conditions where they aren’t exposed to a serious risk of harm. Workers have a right to information and training about various hazards, prevention methods, and OSHA standards for their specific workplace in a language and verbiage they can understand.
Workers also have a right to look at a company’s records of work-related illnesses and injuries. They can file a complaint to OSHA asking for the Association to inspect their work site if the worker suspects their employer isn’t following OSHA rules or if there are serious hazards. Workers can trust that the complaint will be kept confidential. Finally, workers have a right to exercise these rights without fearing retaliation or to report an injury or notify OSHA about their concerns. Workers have 30 days to file a complaint with OSHA if they think they’re being retaliated against.
OSHA was established in 1970 to keep workers and their job sites safe. OSHA provides training, assistance, and education to keep and uphold standards. Shield-Safety helps workers and employers alike increase safety on the job site by offering training and products for added security and peace of mind.