Occupational safety takes into account all actions taken to protect the safety, health, and welfare of persons engaged in employment activities. This can include safety assessments, accident investigations, training programs, and other activities geared towards reducing and eliminating workplace injuries and illness.

The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act of 1970 created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to assure safe and healthful working conditions by setting and enforcing many federal-level safety and health laws. This Act allows individual states to implement their own safety and health programs that are at least as effective as the comparable federal standards. OSHA has approved Alaska's State Plan in accordance with Section 18 of the OSH Act. The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development (DOLWD), Occupational Safety and Health (AKOSH) program is charged with on-site workplace safety and health compliance enforcement activity and may review UAF’s safety programs as part of any programmed inspection, employee complaint, or in the event of a workplace fatality or serious injury.   

Worker Rights Under the OSH Act

The OSHA Whistleblower Protection Program affords employees certain rights against employer retaliatory treatment if they engage in protected acts. Protected employee acts include, but are not limited to, participation in safety and health activities; reporting a work-related injury, illness or fatality; seeking access to employer exposure and injury records; or raising a safety or health complaint with the employer. 

Employee rights are stated in Alaska Statute 18.60.089, Prohibition Against Retribution, which provides protections similar to those of section 11(c) of the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Act. UAF employees are encouraged to contact UAF Environmental, Health, Safety, and Risk Management (EHSRM) directly at 4745413, or use the online UAF Unsafe Condition Report, to report any unsafe work condition or safety concern.  

If you believe you have been adversely treated because you exercised these rights, please contact EHSRM directly for further guidance.