The International Labour Organization recently estimated that over 2.3 million men and women lose their lives to a workplace accident or illness every year. That means over 6,000 deaths are being reported every single day across the globe. We will give you a moment to let that number sink in.
Additionally, the report suggests that around 340 million occupational hazards and 160 million workplace-related illness victims are reported annually. The numbers sure are shocking, and the US government has a dedicated agency in place to tackle these numbers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was put together with the sole aim to promote workplace safety for workers. Here is what you need to know about OSHA, its importance and other information.
What is OSHA Compliance?
OSHA compliance is adhering to all the OSHA regulations that apply to your business. It results in a workplace that is safe from serious hazards that can cause a danger to employees.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) happens to be a federal regulatory agency within the Department of Labor. The agency was created by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act). President Nixon signed the legislation when the death tolls were at their peak, and the public demanded to protect workers through a law.
OSHA compliance involves ensuring that all the safety laws and regulations are enforced. OSHA has some strict regulations that are meant to protect workers from workplace hazards. Employers are required to abide by the occupational safety and health standards that OSHA outlines.
All the safety precautions and safety programs should be put in place to ensure that workers are protected from potentially harmful risks. To comply with OSHA standards, it is vital to take a good look at the OSHA regulations in your area and ensure that all the requirements of the regulations are met. It will help you ensure that your employees are safe at all times.
Why Should I Care About OSHA Compliance?
Since its inception in 1970, OSHA has had a good run, with workplace fatalities down by over 65 percent. Additionally, occupational injury and illness had also gone down considerably ever since. However, more recent studies have shown that the workplace injury, disease and death toll has gone up in recent years. This reinforces the need for OSHA compliance at the workplace.
Notably, complying with OSHA standards and implementing a well-curated safety program helps businesses save money. Onsite accidents and jobs can result in significant medical and legal expenses for businesses. In order to avoid these expenses, it is imperative to train employees about safety at the workplace and have an appropriate safety program in place. It will not only prevent costly mishaps from happening but also boost productivity and worker morale.
How To Comply With the Requirements of OSHA Compliance?
In order to comply with OSHA standards, knowing the essence of what OSHA is comes in handy. Employers who typically ask what OSHA compliance is are generally concerned with what steps can be taken to implement OSHA requirements at the workplace. Here are the critical steps involved in OSHA compliance.
- Hazard Communication Plan (HCP): The first step is creating an HCP and circulating it amongst the employees. That should include the most common risks at the workplace and what can be done to avoid them.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): If there are known hazards associated with your workplace, proper PPE must be provided to the employees. Additionally, proper training should be provided to help the staff know how to use the equipment and maintain it.
- Industrial first-aid kit: Have an industrial first-aid kit in place at the workplace. An excellent first aid kit will contain appropriate supplies for common hazards associated with the particular workplace.
- Put up an OSHA Infographic: To maintain OSHA compliance, employers are required to put up an OSHA poster at the workplace. That should contain all OSHA rights and other critical information relevant to the workers.
- Make the workplace safer: Proactively identify potential hazards and their causes and design a workplace that avoids those causes. Decluttering and cleaning up is the first step towards achieving this goal.
- Maintain immaculate reports: Employers are required to report to OSHA if significant health or safety-related incidents occur. Whether it is a workplace-related illness, injury, or fatality, the company must file a report with the local OSHA office.
- Devise an effective fire drill and provide fire safety training: To be OSHA compliant, employers are required to provide fire safety training to workers and have an effective fire plan in place. Apart from providing training on how to use firefighting equipment, employers must add more fire exits to the building that meet OSHA standards and fire department regulations.
- Have an emergency action plan and conduct emergency training: It will help your worker be prepared for the worst. Having an emergency action plan and training will push your workers’ ability to deal with any mishap that happens onsite.
- COVID-19 guidance: The latest OSHA guidelines issued in April 2021 requires workers to be vaccinated and wear masks indoors to restrict the spread of the virus. Employers must take initiative to conduct vaccination drives for the workers and make masks mandatory onsite.
What Happens if I Do not Comply with the Requirements of OSHA Compliance?
If your business does not meet all the requirements of OSHA, you are likely to attract citations and penalties from your local OSHA office. Businesses that receive OSHA citations are provided with a limited time to pay or appeal their citation. Failure to do so will often result in heavy penalties and expensive consequences.
Having an OSHA citation on the business record will dent that business’s ability to obtain government contracts and tenders. In order to avoid that, contact the local OSHA authorities to find out what safety standard applies and then implement policies to ensure compliance. However, the buck does not stop here as employers must review their safety policy from time to time to ensure relevancy.
Your employees are one of the main reasons you started your company. Proper training for your employees will allow them to work without any fear of injury or death, which is essential to your business.
Interesting Related Article: “Why Regulations are Required in the Construction Industry“