By Anica Oaks
Failure to maintain compliance with OSHA regulations may result in fines, accidents and high employee turnover rates. Read below to learn four ways to keep your business up to date with OSHA rules.
Know State and Federal OSHA Regulations
The first step in maintaining compliance is to visit OSHA’s website and familiarize yourself with applicable rules and regulations. Bear in mind that there are different regulations for different industries. To illustrate, the construction, long shore and logging industries have much stricter standards than others. OSHA is mainly recognized as the federal body that oversees national standards. However, every state has their own OSHA agency with localized regulations. When in doubt, always err on the side of caution by following whichever regulation is stricter.
Choose a Safety Officer
Large companies can afford to employ a full-time safety supervisor or manager. Small companies may only need a part-time safety coordinator or officer. Sometimes, an HR or operations manager may fill this role. Every company needs to have someone who is officially designated as the primary contact person for running the safety program, updating safety procedures and maintaining OSHA compliance. Ideally, the safety officer will have earned a safety degree online or in person, and they will spearhead the safety committee and coordinate between management and employees. Bear in mind that having a safety officer demonstrates the company’s commitment to employee health and well-being.
Safety-related investigations shouldn’t be limited to post-accident activities. There should be regular inspections, such as a weekly facility walk through that empowers the employees to document potential safety hazards. During this time, employee can also check fire extinguishers and medical kits. This is an excellent way to maintain compliance while also increasing the safety level of the facility. The checklists and documentation that result from these weekly inspections are a great way to impress OSHA inspectors. As always, accidents should be thoroughly inspected with in-depth employee interviews.
Be sure to adequately train staff on mandatory OSHA policies, such as blood borne pathogen and emergency response standards. If possible, the safety officer should be involved with new employee orientation. This is the perfect time to impress upon new employees the importance of following safety procedures. Keep in mind that anyone who trains employees and management should have formal safety training. State OSHA agencies typically offer free on-site consultations and online courses. Having an employee with a degree in safety is a great asset for the company.
As a final note, be sure to provide weekly safety awareness and training sessions that encourage open dialogue and feedback.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.