Ohio Safety and Health: What you need to know

Health and safety in the workplace are regulated in large part according to standards developed under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act), a federal law. This law provides for individual states to devise and administer their own work safety laws and regulations, but only with federal approval and only if the state requirements are at least as stringent as the corresponding federal standards. Ohio does not have its own approved occupational safety and health plan; therefore, federal standards are the governing law of the state.
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Ohio's Public Employment Risk Reduction Program mandates a safe workplace, free of hazards that might cause physical harm to employees. Administered by the Ohio Department of Commerce/Division of Labor and Worker Safety's Bureau of Occupational Safety and Health, its standards govern public workplaces, employees, and employers. Employees have the right to refuse to work under conditions reasonably believed to cause imminent danger of death or serious harm, provided that they are not normal conditions or those that might reasonably be expected to occur in the employee's job. Temporary emergency standards may be promulgated in the event of an emergency or unusual situation (for example, if public employees face grave danger from exposure to toxic substances) (OH Rev. Code Sec. 4167.01et seq.).
Employers may be eligible for workers’ compensation premium discounts up to 10 percent if they:
• Successfully complete an approved loss prevention program; or
• Do not incur a compensable injury for 1 year or more and maintain an employee safety committee or similar organization.

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