Employee Says OSHA Poster Was Tossed When Workers Began 'Asking Questions'

Footage of an alleged labor law poster being hidden in a workplace has gone viral, stirring anger online.

An anonymous worker circulated the video Thursday on Reddit's "Antiwork" forum, where it has garnered 9,000 votes. The employee, posting under the username u/Patient-Tackle5935, showed the rolled-up poster planted in an inconspicuous corner of their alleged office. The video then panned to the wall where another poster was left pasted alone.

"Management took down OSHA poster when workers [started] asking questions about labor law," said the employee's caption.

Federal law requires employers to post a notice from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), a regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), informing workers of their rights under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. The notice also directs employees to contact the nearest DOL office for assistance or information on specific safety and health standards.

The poster provided by OSHA, entitled "OSHA Job Safety and Health: It's the Law," must be printed in a large font and posted in a "conspicuous place" or "places where notices to employees are customarily posted," according to the law.

Reddit users were quick to draw these regulations to the worker's attention.

"That's legally required to be posted! Someone wants an OSHA fine," said one viewer.

"I kind of fear for the employees if this basic OSHA info is being suppressed," added another user. "Like what exactly are all the skeletons this employer is trying to hide."

In a follow-up post, the employee shared a photo of the poster crumpled in a trash can.

Safety Inspector
Above, a safety inspector enters the processing room at a Waste Receiving and Processing facility (WARP) on June 30, 2005, near Richland, Washington. Although workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths have fallen dramatically over the past 50 years, OSHA still reported 5,033 deaths on the job in 2019. Jeff T. Green / Stringer/Getty Images North America

"Not sure if this is because it is expired (as a commenter posted on my previous post)," the employee said below the image. "This is suspicious though. This happened shortly after my coworker contacted the Department of Labor about wage theft. Apparently the company refused to give him his sign-on bonus."

Employers do not need to replace previous versions of the poster, according to OSHA. Newsweek reached out to u/Patient-Tackle5935 for comment.

Although workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths have fallen dramatically over the past half-century, OSHA still reported 5,033 deaths on the job in 2019, averaging about 15 deaths a day. About 20 percent of worker deaths happen in construction.

Incidents of Work-Related Injuries

In recent years, several safety violations across industries have rocketed to national news.

In March, a mechanic lost an arm after an accident at a postal distribution center in Greensboro, North Carolina, that had a history of major safety violations. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) was fined $170,000 by OSHA.

In October 2021, Tootsie Roll Industries was fined $136,000 after an employee's finger was amputated by a machine at the company's factory in Chicago.

Meanwhile, four companies were fined almost $1 million after a liquid nitrogen leak killed six workers at a Georgia poultry plant in January 2021.