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OSHA compliance and 2016/2017 Staffing Concerns

September 27, 2016 | Staffing Blog

OSHA compliance is an integral responsibility for most employers, usually managed within the HR department. New OSHA rules regarding reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses announced earlier this year went into effect on August 10, 2016.

Reporting Ruling Affects Broad Swath of Industries

From retail establishments such as furniture and home decor stores to transportation (charter bus companies) to warehouses and vending machine companies, the ruling affects a very wide variety of organizations that employ 20 or more workers.

One thing many of the employers on the list have in common is lifting (for positions such as stockers in grocery and specialty food stores) as well as tow motor and forklift operations (warehousing and storage, courier services). OSHA’s new reporting rules, however, are meant to enhance compliance and safety in many general ways, too – from securing controlled substances in medical offices and care facilities to basic cleaning and equipment maintenance practices.

New OSHA Rule is Intended to Do Two Things

Ideally, OSHA’s enhanced reporting requirements will encourage employers to more carefully enforce basic safety practices – from requiring steel-toe boots for warehouse workers to ensuring the proper use of chemicals and maintaining MSDS libraries for all items in use in the workplace – to reduce injuries and accidents.

At the same time, because results of the new reporting requirement will be made public, OSHA’s intention is create a subtle pressure on employers driven by prospective employees, who are expected to seek out jobs with employers who can show below-average rates of workplace accidents and illnesses.

While the intention is certainly admirable and likely to result in long-term improvements in many industries, in the short term, HR and compliance managers, as well as employees charged with managing their workplace environmental health and safety programs, will have a significantly increased reporting burden.

As the new reporting rule becomes familiar to more employers, we expect to see an increased need for more training programs at many companies.

Working with a quality, reputable staffing company can help your organization minimize risk exposure, and manage your production workload better when updated training and compliance programs are necessary.

In some cases, Allegiance Staffing may be able to help you provide data for the new reporting requirement in a more efficient, less time-consuming manner.

Contact us for suggestions about streamlining staffing and OSHA reporting requirements.