The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that millions of work-related injuries are investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) each year. Records of injuries and deaths that happen in the workplace are maintained by the OSHA on an annual basis. Workplace safety in each state has to be regulated, and OSHA is in charge of worker safety and health in the state of Ohio. Injuries and deaths that happen on job sites are more common than you might think.
According to Ohio worker safety statistics, 503,530 people endured tears, strains or sprains as a result of workplace accidents. In addition to those injuries, 270,890 people hurt their back in a job-related accident. People slip, trip and fall all the time. Most people don’t consider falling or tripping a life threatening experience, but the figures for 2005 (the most current statistics we have) show that 732 people died because of a fall that happened on the job. The complete figure for job-related falls is 255,750. Work related driving accidents claimed the most lives, with a tragic 1,258 casualties.
On source for reader friendly health and safety information is the OSHA Workplace Safety Pack. It has three posters (Workstation Safety Tips, Lifting Safety, and Slips, Trips, and Falls) and information on ergonomics. It is a great idea for all employers to have the safety pack at their business. Every employee should be trained and informed about safety techniques, proper procedures, and the importance of safety and not cutting corners.
I am sure that most employers and employees don’t plan to fall and hurt themselves, but these things happen all too often. It is very easy to get comfortable at a job that you have done for several years, but no one should get comfortable with taking shortcuts and compromising safety and health in the workplace.
Recently, I’ve been researching the labor laws of various states. I’ve found that the Ohio labor laws cover quite a variety of topics including child labor regulations, wage and hour laws, anti-discrimination provisions, prevailing wages for public works project employees, safety regulations, unemployment compensation, and workers’ compensation.
Child labor laws are one important part of the Ohio labor laws. In the state of Ohio, a work permit must be issued to any minor under 18 before they may work at a job. This requirement is waived during the summer months for 16 and 17 year olds, but proof of age and a signed “permission to work” statement from the minor’s parents must still be on file. All minors must be given a break of 30 minutes when they have worked five hours or more consecutively. The Ohio Labor Law also regulates the work hours and permitted occupations for minors of various ages,
Like many states, Ohio’s labor laws provide for workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation programs. Workers’ compensation is designed to help pay the medical bills as well as some lost wages for workers who are injured on the job. Unemployment compensation is designed to give financial assistance to workers who involuntarily lose their jobs.
Another interesting labor law in Ohio is the Prevailing Wage law. This law mandates that employees on public works construction projects be paid a minimum hourly rate set by the state government. This helps ensure greater fairness in the process of various contractors bidding on state projects.
Finally, the subject of wage payment is a topic of interest to many people. Ohio has a state minimum wage equal to that of the federal minimum wage, which is currently $5.15 per hour. Employees who receive gratuities may be paid as little as $2.13 per hour, but their total hourly wages combined with tips must still be equal to or greater than the minimum wage. Under Ohio labor law, wages in the state must generally be paid at least twice per month. However, if a written agreement to do otherwise exists between an employer and employees, this provision may be waived.
The Ohio Complete Labor Law Poster contains a helpful listing of all the applicable federal and state laws on this topic.
The Ohio Labor Board is there to help you and I in regards to any issues that we may incur while working in our state. In Ohio our minimum wage is $5.15 per hour for non tipped employees and $2.13 per hour for tipped employees. This is in accordance with the national minimums for wages. Our superintendent of the Ohio labor board is Gordon Gatien who is working very hard to not only make sure we are treated properly either as employees or as employers but that we get the help and services that we need from our very own labor board.
The Ohio labor board is responsible for enforcing all of the labor laws that protect us. This not only applies to the minors in our state but anyone who is employed in our state. The state also takes a lot of time and patience to help all employers to understand the labor laws especially when it comes to minors and the limitations that are placed on them in accordance with Ohio laws. They do this by enforcing the laws as well as by performing inspections to insure that the places that we are working at are safe as well. They do this through the use of OSHA as well as through other organizations to maintain the safe work environment for all of us.
In Ohio our unemployment rate for June was 5.1% which is just a little bit higher than the national average of 4.8%. However that is a decrease from the previous month of 5.3% which continues to show how we are improving and making strides to improve the welfare of our state workers. With the Ohio Labor Board there are many things that they are working on to help bring down the unemployment rate as well as determining how to best handle any employment issues that may arise in the future.