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What are an employer's responsibilities under MIOSHA?

According to the Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Act, employees and employers have certain rights and responsibilities. Some employer responsibilities have a large impact on employee rights. Every employer has the responsibility to provide a workplace that free of recognized hazards that pose a risk of injury or death.

The employer is also responsible for adhering to the regulations that are under MIOSHA's enforcement jurisdiction. If required, the employer must provide protective equipment whenever required. The employer must also inform the employees about the protective devices available to them. If a MIOSHA standard requires any medical tests for employees, the employer is obligated to pay for those tests.

If there is any deviation from the MIOSHA standard, documentation must be provided to the employee or the representatives of the employee. An employee is entitled to be present at all meetings between the employee and MIOSHA, in the event of a complaint hearing. According to section 29(1) of the act, a MIOSHA representative must be permitted on the premises of the business if there is an investigation pertaining to health or safety.

Employees also have the right to have a representative present at the time of the MIOSHA investigation. The inspector must be allowed to speak to the employee or the employee's representative at the time of the investigation. Any employee benefits, such as fringe benefits or wages, should not be withheld from the employee as a consequence of participating in a MIOSHA investigation.

An employee who believes their rights under MIOSHA have been violated may have legal remedies. A knowledgeable attorney can help employees understand their rights and evaluate their options.

Source: Michigan.gov, "Your Rights & Responsibilities Under MIOSHA," June 2014

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