How to Implement OSHA Safety Standards

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issues and enforces regulations designed to create safe workplaces. OSHA administers general and industry-specific regulations with which employers must comply. Low incidence of work-related injury and illness can positively impact production, revenue and employee morale. Employers have many options in proactively implementing and managing OSHA safety standards within their organizations. Decision-makers should avail themselves of external and internal resources in crafting safety programs that encompass OSHA standards.

  • Assess your organization’s safety needs. Ask for employee input on possible safety hazards. Familiarize yourself with the OSHA safety standards applicable to your organization. Standards can vary from industry to industry. Manufacturers, for example, may need to comply with more stringent regulations than a social service agency where most work takes place in an office.

  • Create the necessary safety policies and programs for your organization. You should include the risk-management and/or human resources professionals within your organization in this undertaking. Consider seeking guidance from your workers' compensation insurance provider if your organization does not have in-house an risk-management or human resources department. Consult the OSHA website at osha.gov for resources for crafting a program.

  • Communicate your new policies and programs to your workers. Consider a top-down approach in which you inform managers, supervisors and then line workers of safety standards and expectations.

  • Ensure adequate training for your managers and supervisors. Seek training opportunities through OSHA, your state industrial commission and other professional training providers.

  • Institute regular safety meetings to refresh your employees' understanding of OSHA standards and company policies. Recognize periods in which no safety incidents occur.

  • Integrate safety-standard information into your new employee orientation.

References

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