The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), was created on April 28th, 1971, to oversee the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA’s mandate is to reduce workplace fatalities and injuries through the observance of the Act and the enforcing of safety-related employer laws. OSHA compliance has had a significant impact on employee safety, reducing workplace fatalities by 66 percent and saving thousands of lives.
If you own a company, no matter how small and seemingly threat-free, you need to consider OSHA workplace safety guidelines, rules, and regulations. Should a worksite injury occur, being able to prove OSHA compliance prevents costly citations and litigation.
Are You OSHA Compliant?
The fastest way to determine if your company complies with appropriate OSHA laws is to consider OSHA’s checklist of employer responsibilities. Key aspects of OSHA workplace safety required of employers include:
- Providing a workplace free of all recognized hazards, while complying with OSHA laws, standards, and regulations.
- Examining workplace conditions to ensure OSHA compliance.
- Ensuring employees have appropriate and safety tools and equipment, and that such equipment is properly maintained.
- Using color codes, posters, signs, and warning labels to clearly identify potential hazards.
- Establishing and updating safe operating procedures and communicating them to employees.
- Providing workplace safety training in language and vocabulary employees understand.
- Providing medical examinations and training as required by OSHA and employer laws.
- Posting OSHA posters informing employees of their rights and responsibilities in an easily viewed location.
- Reporting all work-related fatalities to the nearest OSHA office within eight hours (inpatient hospitalization, amputations, or loss of an eye must be reported within twenty-four hours).
- Recording all work-related injuries and illness in accordance with OSHA laws.
- Proving access to injury and illness logs to employees, former employees, or their authorized representatives.
- Providing OSHA compliance officers with the names of any authorized employee representative who need to attend compliance inspections.
- Not discriminating against employees for exercising their rights as laid out in the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
- Posting OSHA citations near worksites involved in injuries and illness and leaving such citations posted until the violation is corrected or three working days—whichever is longer.
- Correcting cited violations by the deadline set in OSHA citations and submitting the necessary abatement verification documentation.
The implementation of OSHA workplace training is the responsibility of the employer, with specific OSHA workplace safety requirements varying from industry to industry. For instance, does your facility meet OSHA requirements for Electrical workers?
In addition to employer laws, OSHA recommends employers create and maintain an injury and illness prevention program, as such programs significantly reduce the risk of serious workplace injuries. Your individual state may require companies have prevention programs in place.
OSHA laws make for safer work environments, which in turn benefit employers with higher morale, higher productivity, and less financial risk. Working toward OSHA compliance is an important and necessary responsibility that protects you as much as your employees.