There are several reasons why it is in the best interests of employers to maintain safe workplaces. Foremost is the duty of every employer to comply with federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations. Failure to do so can result in citations, fines, civil penalties and even prison.
When this happens your health costs will go up. If there are injuries in your workplace your must keep a federal 300 log of these injuries. The goal always is to prevent injury and improve working conditions.
How to organize your workplace.
Every business should appoint a Health and Safety Manager. It is that person's responsibility to ensure that the program meets federal requirements and is implemented properly. The Manager can begin by hiring an outside consultant to do a health and safety audit. That person must be knowledgeable about the OSHA health and safety regulations for that particular business. OSHA has volumes of regulations. That is why the Manager must zero in on those that apply to his/her business. From that inventory the Manager can write and distribute a Company Policy Manual detailing all health and safety requirements.
What are the Basic Requirements?
The Manager must display an OSHA poster about employer and employee rights. In addition, safety signs on danger with chemical, biological machinery and equipment must be displayed.
Safety Equipment. Employers must provide goggles, respiratory devices and protection from chemical and mechanical dangers.
Fire Safety. Fire alarms and extinguishers must be in clear sight. The phone number of the fire department must be there also.
Building Security. Procedures for screening phone calls and requests for information and who accepts packages must be discussed with employees.
Workplace Violence. This is a broad category that includes all the activities of the business that may lead to violent behavior. Included are working with money, working alone, working at night or early morning and receiving deliveries. Two way mirrors, security cameras, bullet- proof windows and panic bar doors are some ways to prevent violence.
Repairs and Maintenance. Electrical and lifting equipment must be inspected and maintained. Other hazards such as dust or slippery walking surfaces must be eliminated through proper ventilation and cleaning. Proper hygiene includes cleaning and washing of lavatories and toilets regularly. First aid kits must be available at all times.
Health Issues. The company health and safety manual must include a section on preventative health measures. Included would be protection during the flu season and protecting employee health when working with hazardous materials. This must be a cooperative venture between employer and employee. Ongoing discussions on how to make improvements in the workplace should be part of this program.
The health and safety programs by employers are required under federal law. Just as important are the psychological advantages of having up to date and continuous health and safety procedures. Here are some benefits.
· Clean and healthy workplaces encourage better morale and productivity and relieve stress.
· Employee motivation is higher.
· There is less absenteeism and turnover.
· You will gain a good reputation among competitors and be able to attract top-notch employees.
· Your business will gain better customer satisfaction.
· Last but not least, your costs will be lower.
As you can see, following and implementing federal regulations and human relations concerns will always be in the best interests of employers.
This article was published by Aria Meyer. Aria has been working in safety supplies and emergency kits industry for more than five years. As a product manager for EDisasterSystems.com , he knows his merchandise and all the requirements from OSHA. He likes to write and share his ideas about the importance of safety and emergency prevention.