What Does OSHA Require From Employers?
If you have ever visited OSHA’s website, you know there is so much information posted regarding the different safety and health requirements employers must follow in order to keep their employees safe on the job. We are going to breakdown the key rules and regulations starting with the top 3 basic duties for employers.
Three Key Elements:
- Compliance with OSHA laws.
- Provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards.
- Examine workplace conditions to ensure compliance.
The foundation of a successful safety program is compliance with OSHA laws. Part of the LSCI approach is to stress the importance of creating a good safety culture at your workplace.
Why Comply With OSHA’s Regulations?
- Ethical: Employers should feel a moral obligation to keep their employees safe on the job. “We don’t want anyone to get hurt, do we?”
- Legal: The obvious reason for employers to comply with OSHA regulations is because it’s the law. “We want to comply with the law, don’t we?”
- Business: It costs less to be pro-active vs. reactive. “We want to minimize expenses and maximize profits, right?”
If you’re a safety professional trying to convince upper management of the benefits of investing in a safety program, check out our Business Case for Safety e-book or call one of our consultants at 888-403-6026.
OSHA’s General Duty Clause
Every employer should be familiar with OSHA’s General Duty Clause because it really is all encompassing. OSHA can issue a citation for any safety hazard under the General Duty Clause even if it is not specifically spelled out somewhere else in the regulations. It requires employers to protect employees from any safety hazard they may encounter, including those that aren’t specifically listed in OSHA’s regulations.
(a) Each employer —
(1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees;
(2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act.
(b) Each employee shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.
Comply with OSHA’s standards.
Post the free OSHA workplace poster and encourage employees to read it.
Provide a workplace free from serious recognized hazards.
Conduct hazard assessments.
Maintain up to date written safety and health programs including procedures.
Employers must provide safety training in a language and vocabulary workers can understand.
Provide access to Safety Data Sheets (SDS) when employees use hazardous chemicals.
Train employees on what chemicals they are exposed to.
Use and maintain safe tools and equipment.
Provide warnings of potential hazards including signs.
Report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours to OSHA.
Employers with more than 10 employees must keep records of work-related injuries and illnesses.
Post the recordkeeping 300A form from February 1 to April 30 each year in a prominent location at your workplace.
Submit electronic injury and illness records if your workplace is required.
Provide access to employee medical records and exposure records to employees or their authorized representatives.
Do not discriminate against employees who exercise their rights under the Act. See OSHA’s “Whistleblower Protection” webpage.
Post OSHA citations at or near the work area involved. Each citation must remain posted until the violation has been corrected, or for three working days, whichever is longer. Post abatement verification documents or tags.
Correct cited violations by the deadline set in the OSHA citation and submit required abatement verification documentation.
A successful safety program needs to be nurtured.
Top 10 Reasons to Partner With an Award Winning OSHA Consulting Firm
OSHA compliance does not need to be confusing or take up every moment of your day. The advantages of having a third party safety consulting company by your side include:
- Professional consultants with various certifications and qualifications that know OSHA’s rules and regulations.
- Have a hazard assessment conducted without having any citations issued.
- Get a safety and health training delivered on just the topics you need.
- It is cheaper than hiring a full time safety person or can provide assistance to an overloaded safety manager.
- Shows your employees that you truly care about their safety and well-being which will boost morale!
- Gives you the peace of mind knowing you have experienced support available and shows OSHA that you are operating in good faith.
- Issues safety and health news alerts and OSHA regulation changes.
- Helps create a safer workplace for your employees and builds a safety culture.
- Will help to prevents or reduce accidents, injuries and potential OSHA citations.
- OSHA can offer employers a “good faith” discount for hiring a safety company.
First, strive to meet OSHA’s requirements. Then, work to maintain them. Next, go beyond the safety standards!