While you want to keep your valued team as safe as possible while on the job, you might be uncertain how to stay OSHA compliant at all times. Fortunately, with a combination of vigilance and being pro-active, it is possible to make sure your company remains fully OSHA compliant. Here's how.
Research which OSHA requirements pertain to you
The first step to becoming and staying OSHA compliant is to do some research to determine which rules and regulations apply to your company, according to Omega HR Solutions. Some are true across the board, like containing, storing and labeling hazardous chemicals in the proper way, maintaining easily accessible and properly identified exit routes, keeping floors and work surfaces clear at all times and providing your team with the proper safety equipment. There are also other OSHA requirements that pertain to certain types of companies; for example, a business that uses noisy machinery to create a product must protect employees from excessive noise with hearing PPE and employees who are required to climb scaffolding must be sure the equipment is safe and secure.
Common requirements that apply to most general industry employers include:
- Hazard Communication Standard, which requires appropriate GHS labels for hazardous chemicals.
- Emergency Action Plan Standard, which requires employers to have a plan to ensure safety in a fire or other emergency, including identified evacuation routes.
- Fire Safety. OSHA recommends all employers have a plan for fire prevention.
- Exit Routes must be unobstructed with exit doors clearly marked.
- Walking / Working Surfaces includes standards for fall protection.
- Medical and First Aid personnel and supplies, such as first aid kits that are easy to find and clearly labelled.
Regularly inspect your equipment and workplace
Another way to stay in full compliance with the many OSHA regulations is to schedule regular and thorough inspections of your equipment and workspace. These inspections should include all of the OSHA rules that apply to your specific company along with any other safety-related areas you have identified. For example, if your company uses machinery, carefully inspect everything your employees use; whenever you can, take apart the equipment to check inner parts. If you discover o-rings or other parts are worn, cracked or broken, replace them before letting your team use the equipment. In order to help expedite this process and not fall behind on your work, keep basic parts on hand.
Hire or appoint a safety officer
As Business.com notes, assigning someone on your staff to manage employee safety is a great way to stay OSHA compliant. While this is not necessarily a full-time job, you do need to allow him or her the time and space to proactively research any changes in OSHA rules, create safety plans, record any injuries that happen at work and perform other safety-related tasks. To stay abreast of the latest OSHA updates, have the safety officer subscribe to the Federal Register; this publication notes OSHA standards as they are adopted and updated. By having a safety officer on staff, you will breathe easier knowing that someone is devoted to keeping tabs on anything related to OSHA in the workplace, and alerting you to any issues before they become a problem.
While the number of OSHA rules and regulations for your business may seem overwhelming at first, you can definitely stay compliant. You are already devoted to keeping your employees safe on the job; by assigning a safety officer, knowing what rules apply to your business and performing regular inspections, you can easily stay compliant with OSHA 100 percent of the time.
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