The rules for keeping a workplace safe are constantly changing, and so is the political landscape in which these rules are enforced. Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to stay OSHA compliant, and 3 of them are listed here.
1. Hire employees that understand the value of safety and have a record of compliance.
Some people are accident-prone. They have a tendency to not watch where they are going and to act before thinking. Hiring them risks the safety of themselves and your other employees. Having employees vetted or hiring someone to vet them, however, will limit your exposure to those risks.
2. Stay Informed.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a free newsletter that it emails called OSHA Quick Takes, and that will give you the latest news and insight into the administration’s thinking. They also provide a free on-site consultation service to help you think of your specific risks. Both are completely voluntary, and the sign-ups are on their website.
You should subscribe to the Federal Register through the Superintendent of Documents, U.S Government Printing Office, too. The Federal Register prints new versions of OSHA standards and regulations whenever they are adopted. You can also get annual updates through your local library.
Each state has its own branch of OSHA and administrative arms for dealing with safety issues. Many universities provide adult training on the subject. For instance UCLA has courses in work safety through one of their programs. A good place to ask for these resources is the insurance company that you get your Worker’s Comp insurance from. Part of their job is to stay on top of rules concerning workplace injury, and they will likely have resources for you.
Another good idea is to subscribe to industry magazines. OSHA and similar bodies have to issue general recommendations, not industry specific suggestions. Your industry magazines, on the other hand, will drill deep into the implications for your particular business.
3. Do Regular Training.
If you are in the food industry, food handlers either have to or are really should have their food handling certificates renewed every 3 to 5 years. This is a pretty good model to follow in every industry. People who know the rules get complacent and fail to pass them on to new hires, and then you wind up with people who should know better doing things that will get them hurt. What’s more, the old hands don’t know the new rules, which can be radically different from the old ones.
To avoid employees making obvious (and dangerous) blunders, schedule regular courses in safety for them. OSHA and its state branches have training materials, and there are companies that specialize in providing certification and training in safety.
If you need help with finding employees that will keep you OSHA compliant, please contact us. We can thoroughly vet them for you, and answer any other safety concerns.