Employers are responsible for the safety and well-being of their employees. Workplaces must be free from serious hazards and employ the proper mechanisms – regular training, personal protective equipment, and audits – to minimize accidents. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) under the United States Department of Labor enforces workplace health and safety standards every company must follow. OSHA officers regularly inspect worksites especially hazardous industries like construction and manufacturing and assess fines and issue citations for violations.
Complaints of complying with OSHA regulations affecting a firm’s competitiveness and bottom line are unfounded. Studies show that improvements to workplace safety came at no expense of employment, sales or credit ratings. Despite its advantages, there are still companies turning a blind eye to protecting the welfare of their workers. Multiple instances of accidents and injuries can bring a wrongful death lawyer at your doorsteps no matter if you’re operating in Los Angeles or Illinois. Show your employees and OSHA you care about safety by avoiding these mistakes.
Lax about safety rules
Beautiful and well-formatted manuals are useless when they’re not implemented and practiced. While there is merit to publishing rules and procedures, it is equally important to train employees and instill discipline in following safety protocol. It might even be worse to not abide by established guidelines because it shows grievous negligence by all parties. Companies should also have a system in place to monitor and document the safety and health of their employees. Prevention is better and less costly than a cure.
Inaccurate and disorganized recordkeeping
Information management is an essential practice in all industries. Keeping orderly and complete files can spell the difference between a lawsuit and a citation. Suggestions include keeping the OSHA 300 log and the 301 forms separate from other records like correspondence and medical records for easy access. OSHA will do a full investigation if the company can’t procure the necessary documentation during an inspection.
Lying during an inspection
It might be tempting to use white lies during an OSHA investigation to prevent further questioning. But this can backfire if there is evidence you misled the inspection officers. Violations can be remedied through workplace improvements and paying fines, but it will be a felony when you falsify statements. Cooperating with officials is less painful than battling in the court of law.
Taking a reactive stance to safety
A culture of safety doesn’t build itself overnight or by chance. Careful plans and comprehensive risk management keep workers safe from injuries and illnesses. You have to make everyone understand the importance of making safety a priority in the workplace. Training workers to be vigilant and report issues can save the company resources in dealing with OSHA violations and complaints.
Antagonizing employees who raise issues
Organizations sometimes employ intimidation tactics to employees complaining about safety issues. While this strategy can work, you are only digging a deeper grave for yourself. OSHA places a premium on employee participation when it comes to safety. OSHA considers bad relations with employees a red flag.
Regulations and standards put forth by OSHA exist to protect the welfare of both the employer and employee. It is in the best interests of both parties to put safety as a priority in all business activities.