As with most Federal Agencies, whether it’s the Internal Revenue Service, Department of Transportation, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the perception of these departments can be negative. Why? Because these agencies are in place to enforce and administer rules and regulations, right? While operating a business can be a daunting task, the last thing a business owner wants to discover would be additional requirements in order for them to operate and continue to be a profitable entity. However, when it comes to OSHA and employee safety, maintaining compliance can actually help you save in several ways!
When properly managed, an Environmental Health and Safety program can benefit both the employee and the employer. By reducing (and ultimately eliminating) workers compensation claims caused by an occupational injury, potentially saves employers thousands of dollars. Ensuring that your employees are safe and that your operations are in compliance also avoids costly OSHA fines.
An effective Safety Management program consists of the following 4 basic components:
Recordkeeping: Maintaining accurate and up to date records is required. Having an effective communication system for employees to report injuries and “close calls” will help aid in preventing hazardous work environments. Did you know that OSHA is in the process of developing an online reporting system? Reducing injuries not only saves the employer money, but it also increases productivity, enhances employee morale, and creates a positive work environment.
Written Safety Programs: Based on the industry you work in, regulations vary. It is extremely important to outline your company’s policies ensuring that they align with applicable Local, State, and Federal Regulations. Having an effective program will ensure employees are working safely. Each program should consist of a periodic review of the hazards that could potentially exist. Failing to have an effective program can open up compliance concerns and allow OSHA to mandate additional oversite regarding safety compliance.
Safety Training: OSHA requires the employer to train their employees on specific safety topics (many annually). Failing to properly train employees not only results in non-compliance, but also increases the risk of unsafe work practices. Effective training can meet OSHA requirements and provide the employee with the necessary guidance to perform their work in a safe manor.
Audits and Inspections: Conducting frequent audits and inspections of your facility to ensure compliance and identify the hazards associated with your industry and the job at hand, identifies potential unsafe working conditions and potential unsafe work practices. Keeping employees safe should be the ultimate goal for any business. Ensuring that you remain in constant compliance can, and will, ultimately avoid hefty OSHA fines.
In conclusion, using the above listed tools to ensure a workplace free of recognizable hazards is not only the law, but also a solid foundation to ensure your business avoids unexpected financial losses.
To explore how Assurance Safety Consulting, LLC can save you money and ensure your compliance, contact us at (603) 921-3445 or visit our website www.assurancesafetynh.com.
Corey Hartson, President
Assurance Safety Consulting, LLC