As you prepare to welcome 2015, it’s a good idea to take a look at your company policies and make sure you’re starting the year off on the right foot, particularly with regard to safety policies and OSHA regulations. If you haven’t revisited or revamped in a while, take time now to do so. It helps create a safe working environment for all involved and helps keep you in compliance with proper health and safety laws.
Since the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, OSHA has helped companies ensure safe and healthy workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s administrator answers to the Secretary of Labor, a member of the president’s cabinet—the safety and health of America’s workers is taken seriously by the highest forms of government. The OSH Act itself covers a majority of private sector employers, their employees, and some public sector employers and workers.
All employers who fall under the OSH Act must consistently remain in compliance with OSHA regulations. Some of the basics include:
- “…provid[ing] a workplace free from serious recognized hazards and comply[ing] with standards, rules, and regulations issued under the OSH Act” (https://www.osha.gov/as/opa/worker/employer-responsibility.html)
- Making sure workplace conditions align with applicable OSHA standards
- Posters, labels, color codes, or signs to alert workers of possible hazards
- A prominently displayed OSHA poster informing workers of rights and responsibilities
- Safety training in a language and vocabulary all workers can understand
- Established and/or updated operating procedures conveyed so employees adhere to health and safety requirements
- Keeping records of work-related injuries and illnesses, as well as providing access to the log of those records
- Refraining from discrimination against employees who use the Act to exercise their rights
- Encouraging adoption of an Illness and Prevention Program (some states require one)
In order to remain in compliance with OSHA requirements and standards, use OSHA’s specific requirements to create a viable working safety program. You must also check with your individual state (FYI: Ohio does not have its own health and safety laws; it goes solely by the federal regulations) to see if it has specific OSHA-related rules. Consider your short-term and long-term needs in terms of immediate and ongoing worker protection when creating your program. To put it simply, the best program will anticipate, identify, and eliminate health and safety hazards.
If you need any help creating or updating your OSHA program to be in compliance with the laws, contact PrideStaff. There is nothing more important than the well-being of those who work for you.