OSHA is a federal government agency tasked with making sure that workplace safety rules are enforced at all times. If a company is found to be in violation of those rules, it could result in various levels of enforcement action. In some cases, a company could be fined or ordered to shutdown until a hazard is remedied. What are some things that your business can do to remain complaint with OSHA regulations?
Conduct Frequent Inspections
You should conduct an inspection of your office, warehouse or construction site on a daily basis. The inspection should look for any hazards or potential hazards that an employee or contractor could face. If a hazard is found, a plan should be put in place to ensure that no one gets hurt. This could mean installing a barrier, putting up a warning sign or postponing a job until the issue can be taken care of. While a delay may not be ideal, it is better than the human and financial cost of an injury or death on the job.
Have a Written Safety Plan
You should have a written safety plan that your employees and contractors have access to at all times. This plan should be updated as you discover new hazards or discover new ways of keeping your people free from harm. Your safety plan should list specific steps that an individual can take in the event of an emergency situation.
For instance, you could stipulate that employees are to tell a manager if an explosion or chemical leak takes place. From there, employees could be required to seek treatment either from medical staff at the job site or at an emergency room. By having a detailed plan, it allows the company to be proactive as it relates to worker safety. Even if a significant accident occurs, OSHA is less likely to issue a citation if the company made a good faith effort to create a safe work area.
Be Sure to Report Serious Injuries
OSHA requires that most employers submit a list of serious injuries or death caused by a workplace accident. That information must generally be submitted to OSHA within 24 hours of the injury or death occurring. Having this information allows the agency to determine the most common risks a worker may face. It also helps to determine if a company is a repeat offender or has willfully violated safety rules.
Don’t Force Workers to Complete Tasks in Hazardous Conditions
Workers do have the right to not work in hazardous conditions if they have a sincere belief that they could be hurt or killed. Employers who force them to do so could face OSHA citations or other penalties. Employees who are retaliated against for exercising their rights could file a lawsuit or take other action against a company. Therefore, make sure that you listen to employee concerns and take them seriously in an effort to remain OSHA compliant.
Treat Workers and Contractors the Same
Your company must treat regular employees and contract workers the same. If you hire subcontractors, you may be responsible for overseeing their actions on a job site. If your company hires temporary workers, the organization is responsible for ensuring that they have a safe work experience. This includes receiving proper training on how to complete a task or use a machine safety.
As a business owner, you should make worker safety a top priority. Doing so will make it easier to attract top talent as well as keep worker morale high. Furthermore, those who aren’t worried about getting hurt are more focused on their work, which makes them more productive overall.